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7/27/2019 Young Peoples Stor 00 Whit 1/485 I M il! YOUNG PEOP STORY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE WHITCOMB

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Young People's Story of

American Literature

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Young People's Story


American Literature

Revised Edition


Ida Prentice WhitcombAuthor of "A Bunch of Wild Flowers for the Children,'


"Heroes of History," "Young People's Story

of Art,""Young People's Story

of Music," etc.

With Numerous Illustrations

, \A\\\V. ^T &*trYt

New York

Dodd, Mead and Company


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A STORY is not necessarily bound by historical per-

spective ;and in the following Young People's

Story of American Literature," the aim has been

three-fold: First, to bring into clear outline such

biographical and dramatic elements as appeal to

young people and stimulate them to seek further.

Second, to incite the youth and maiden in com-

mitting to memory poetic selections. These faith-

fully garnered will prove a rich treasure.

Third,to interest the student in

visitingthe shrines

of our own land as eagerly as those abroad.

In collecting materials for the book, the writer

has been enabled through great courtesy to visit

many of the places mentioned, and has noted much

of local value in a desire to add colour to the story.

Every shrine visited has made more vivid the per-

sonality associated with it.

So the"

Firstly, Secondly, and Thirdly," are in

brief: To seek companionship of the best books; to

memorise choice poems; and to make pilgrimages

to the homes of American authors.

The writer acknowledges, with thanks, the per-

mission given by Houghton, Mifflin and Company to

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reprint extracts from the works of Whittier, Low-

ell, Longfellow, Holmes, Thoreau, Stedman, and

others; by Charles Scribner's Sons to quote from the

poems of Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke, Eugene Field,

and Sidney Lanier; by Small, Maynard and Company

to quote short extracts from the poems of Rev. John

B. Tabb; by Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company

to quote from the poems of Paul Hamilton Hayne;

by D. Appleton and Company to quote from the

poems of William Cullen Bryant; and by Little,

Brown and Company to quote"Poppies in the

Wheat," copyright 1892, by Roberts Brothers, and

also some short quotations from other poems of

Helen Hunt Jackson.

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The Orchard House: Home of the Alcotts . . . Frontispiece


Evolution of the Book : Cairn, Oral, Hieroglyphics .... 3

Evolution of the Book: Pictograph, Manuscript, Printing Press 4

Monument to Capt. John Smith, Jamestown, Va ..... 10

Gov. John Winthrop ............. 18

Cotton Mather


John Eliot ................ 18

Jonathan Edwards .............. 18

National Monument, Plymouth, Mass ........ 36

Thomas Jefferson .............. 44

Alexander Hamilton ............. 44

Benjamin Franklin .............. 44

Samuel Sewall ............... 44

Page from Poor Richard's Almanac, September, 1738 ... 52

Washington Irving ............. 78

J. Fenimore Cooper .............. 78

Fitz-Greene Hallock ............. 78

William Cullen Bryant ............ 7 8

Sunnyside: Home of Washington Irving ....... 86

Monument to J. Fenimore Cooper, Cooperstown, N. Y. . . . 96

William Cullen Bryant Memorial, Bryant Park, New York . . 108

John Howard Payne's "Home Sweet Home," East Hampton, L. I. 118Home of John Greenleaf Whittier, Amesbury, Mass .... 130

William Lloyd Garrison ............ 142

Daniel Webster ............... 142

Henry Clay ................ 142

Harriet Beecher Stowe ............. I42

Lincoln Emancipation Statue at Washington, D. C..... 150

Francis Parkman .............. 160

John Lothrop Motley

George Bancroft

William H. Prescott .............. l6

School of Philosophy, Concord, Mass ........ 176

Ralph Waldo Emerson ............ 184

.Nathaniel Hawthorne ............. 184

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Henry David Thoreau 184Louisa M. Alcott 184

Home of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord, Mass 192

The Thoreau Cairn and Thoreau Cove, Lake Walden . . . 198

Old Manse, Concord, Mass 208

The Wayside: Home of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Concord, Mass. 216

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 222

James Russell Lowell 222

OliverWendell Holmes


John Greenleaf Whittier 222

Craigie House: Home of Henry W. Longfellow, Cambridge,Mass 232

Elmwood: Home of James Russell Lowell, Cambridge, Mass . 248

Edgar Allan Poe 276

Sidney Lanier 276

Paul H. Hayne 276

Rev. John B. Tabb 276

Poe's Cottage at Fordham, New York City 284

Samuel L. Clemens 308

Francis Bret Harte 308

Eugene Field 308

Henry Cuyler Bunner 308

Edward Clarence Stedman 320

Bayard Taylor 320

Thomas Bailey Aldrich 320

Walt Whitman 320

Edward Everett Hale 330

Frank R. Stockton 330

William Dean Howells 330

F. Marion Crawford 330

Celia L. Thaxter 340

Sarah Orne Jewett 340

Helen Hunt Jackson 340

Mary Mapes Dodge 340

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Books are keys to wisdom's treasure,'

Books are gates to lands of pleasure;

Books are paths that upward lead;

Books are friends, come, let us read!'7


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Now, in 1922, a new edition of "Young People's

Story of American Literature" is issued. What a

wonderful broadening of vision since the beginning

of our colonial period over three hundred years ago 1

To-day there is more thoughtful and artistic au-

thorship than ever before. Essayist and dramatist,

biographer and historian, scientist and philosopher,

novelist and poet, are writing; the illustrator is busy

with brush and camera and everybody reads. The

demand is great and our literature is worthy of


Let us study its trend from the characteristics of

a few representative authors, for it is better to be

familiar with the work of a few rather than to have

scant acquaintance with thatof the

many.Which are the best we may not know, for it is

never possible to give correct perspective of con-

temporary writers. Keenest critics fail in judgment

of their own age.

Amy Lowell says :

"To-day can never be adequately expressed largely because

we are a part of it and only a part" ;

while John Jay Chapman thus voices his views:

"A historian cannot get his mind into focus upon any-

thing as near as the present."

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AN English author rightly traces the origin of the

book to the depth of some Asiatic forest, where centu-

ries agone a rude savage stood, thorn in hand, etching

upon a leaf perhaps torn from a giant palm a

symbol by which to commemorate either joy or strug-

gle in his simple life; and thus the tree became the

parent of the book the word"book


being de-

rived from the beech with its smooth and silvery bark,

found by our Saxon forefathers in the German forest,

and the leaf explains itself.

Another more pictorial illustration of the origin

of the book, we find in a series of six panels, painted

by Mr. John W. Alexander, of New York, in the

new Congressional Library, at Washington.

In the first of these expressive frescoes, prehis-

toric man erects upon the seashore a rough cairn of

boulders. The task is laborious, but he must needs

make his record.

In the second, the Oriental story-teller dramatic-

ally relates his tale to a group of absorbed listeners :

thistypifies oral tradition.

Again we look, and the Egyptian stone-cutter

chisels his hieroglyphics upon the face of a tomb.

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His cutting is vigorous and incisive his tale is

made to live.

Yet another, and a graceful American Indian

paints upon a buffalo-skin the pictograph, which rep-

resents the war-trail or the chase.

We next glance into the dim scriptorium where

the monastic scribe


illuminates his manu-

script; and as the final evolution, Gutenberg eagerly

scans the proof that has just come from the printing-

press his gift to the world.

So from prehistoric age to twentieth century, leaf,

cairn and altar, oral tradition, hieroglyphic and

pictograph, waxed tablet, illuminated manuscriptand printing-press have all had part in leading

up to the book the ultimate triumph of modern


And the book is the vehicle of literature; and the

literature that it holds is the reflection and repro-

duction alike of the intellect and deed of the people.

Honest John Morley says:-

"Poets, dramatists, humorists, satirists, historians, masters

of fiction, great preachers, character-writers, political ora-

tors, maxim-writers all are literature."

The story of literature is a curious and variedone that has unravelled century by century as Egypt,

Assyria, Persia, China and India, Greece and Rome,

and the more modern countries, have in turn added

their records.

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eg" '




Copyright, by Curtis & Catneron



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Our subject is American literature. This, how-

ever, being but a branch of English literature, we

join in the ranks and inspiration of that long and

splendid procession, which, for twelve hundred years,

has been marching along.

Our environment, it is true, has been different:

another land and climate and social organisation,

with democratic political problems to solve; but all

the same, we, too, claim ancestral right in Chaucer

and Spenser and Shakespeare and Milton and

English literature is indeed our glorious heritage.

And as we consider the work of our up-to-date

author, seated in his library running his fingers

lightly overthe

keysof his

typewriterlet us not

forget the gratitude due to that primitive savage,

who, in the fragrant woodland, traced his inspira-

tion upon the leaf of a tree, and thus took the first

step in the evolution of the book.

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AMERICAN literature where does it begin?

Surely not among the prehistoric mound-builderswhose instruments and ornaments are unearthed to-

day. They builded their homes, tilled their soil,

and worked their mines, but thus their record sadly

ends :

"They had no poet and they died."

Next, in historic sequence, we glance at the In-

dian, who is becoming to-day more and more to the

American author a theme of romance. What was

his contribution to the literature of an aboriginal

age? It was scanty indeed but it formed a be-

ginning; for his speech and songs of magic and love

displayed bold courage and an eloquent symbolism

that we may not overlook.

The following, taken from Dr. Schoolcraft's


Indian Tribes"

is an expressive illustration:


My love is tall and graceful as the young pine waving

on the hill, and as swift in his course as the noble, stately

deer; his hair is flowing and dark, as the blackbird that

floats through the air, and his eyes like the eagle's, both

piercing and bright; his heart, it is fearless and great, and

his arm, it is strong in the fight, as this bow made of iron

wood which he easily bends. His aim is as sure in the

fight and chase as the hawk which ne'er misses its prey.


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Copyright, by Curtis & Cameron



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Ah, aid me, ye spirits! of water, of earth, and of sky, while

I sing his praise."

Leaving behind us the mound-builder and the In-

dian, we next consider true American literature,

which is divided into three periods: Colonial, Revo-

lutionary, and National.

The Colonial began in America when in"Merrie


the golden"Elizabethan Age


was at

its height: when Shakespeare was unfolding his mar-vellous creations, and when Spenser sang of his

"Fairie Queene," England disporting itself alike

in drama and pageant.

Colonial literature here forms striking contrast

to the brilliant period abroad, and it must have small

space in our scheme, compared to that we must give

to Revolutionary and National; and yet there is

revealed in it to-day an increasing interest. Wehear much of Colonial Dames and houses and archi-

tecture and historic data.

Truly these colonists"builded better than they

knew," and our first duty must be to trace the earlier

foot-prints which they made.

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COLONIAL literature has two divisions: one treats

of "Jamestown and the Cavalier " the other of

"Plymouth, the Pilgrim, and the Puritan." We

consider"Jamestown and the Cavalier


first, for

this was the earlier.

It was in the winter of 1606, that a party of

romantic aristocrats, unruly gallants, mechanics and

farmers, and beggars pushed thither by friends

adventurers all set out in a pigmy fleet of three

ships from England for America. They were under

a charter to a London Company to seek here gold

mines and precious stones.

Four monthsthey

sailed over three thousand

miles of unknown sea, and finally in April, 1607,

were driven by storm into a large river, its shores

blooming with dogwood and redbud, and on a bright

day, they landed on the bank at a perilous spot; and

James River and Jamestown were later named in

honour of their illustrious English King.This was the region which the chivalrous Sir

Walter Raleigh the dauntless sailor had pre-

viously penetrated in one of his futile attempts to

colonise North America; and though he had not


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conquered, he had succeeded in christening the land

Virginia, in gratitude to his"Virgin Queen," and

this name yet binds Virginia to the Mother Country.

And as at Jamestown our forbears disembarked

the dense wilderness behind, the wide ocean be-

fore how little they realised the boundless future !

With the exception of Gosnold and Captain John

Smith, theyknew



manyof them were manly men who loved liberty and ad-

venture. The struggle was bitterly waged against

famine and the Indians; but out of all, the Virginia

colony was established thefirst permanent English

settlement in North America.

There may have been imaginative, resourceful

spirits among these pioneers, but what wonder that

they had scant leisure for literary pursuits for

drama or pageant or smooth narrative. No poet or

novelist could assert himself. These were days of

action not thought; and yet in compacts and journals

and letters home, we may discover, even at this

remote date, the beginnings of our story of Ameri-

can literature for we at once descry the picturesque

figure of the redoubtable John Smith soldier,

captain, governor, saviour and historian, of the

colony.He stands at the gateway of American literature

just as the old tramp-explorer, Sir John Mandeville,

stood three hundred years before, at the gateway of

English literature.


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A born fighter was this Lincolnshire boy, who

very early ran away from home, " foreign countries

for to see." He fought in France, the Netherlands,

and Italy; he fought the Spanish, Tartars and

Turks; and blazoned on his escutcheon were the

heads of three Turkish champions that he had sev-

ered in single combat.

He encountered shipwreck and slavery; and a

veritable knight-errant of English chivalry, he re-

turned to London, at the age of twenty-five a

battle-scarred hero.

Then catching Gosnold's enthusiasm, he was

seized with a mania for colonisation, andbeing just

in time, he started in 1607, with the motley crew

for Jamestown. They sailed for the riches of the

South Sea - -they found as their

"El Dorado


cotton and tobacco; but dependable Captain Smith

endured hardships and disappointments with opti-

mism.In his little pinnace, Discovery, he explored the

Virginian bays, so carefully surveying the coast,

that among his works he published, in 1612, "A

Map of Virginia, with a Description of the Country,

the Commodities, People, Government, and Reli-



a voluminous title, but it was a fashion in

those days to make a title a summary of the contents

of a book.

Captain Smith bartered so skilfully with the In-

dians that he kept the colony from starvation. His


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services were of unquestioned value : at one time

governor at another barely escaping the gallows

his zeal being always greater than his discretion.

After hundred of settlers had been added to the

colony, he was removed; returning afterwards to

explore the New England shores, he received from

King James the title"Admiral of New England."


he was in America less than threeyears.

Captain Smith's life did not seem adapted to lite-

rary achievement, but he wrote two booklets here

which gave him a place in colonial literature. His

other works belong to the long, quieter years that

followed his going back to England.

It is strange to think of the hardy soldier, seated

in his aboriginal hut of logs and mud, and on an im-

provised desk with goose-quill pen, recounting his

deeds. His apology is, that he"admired those

whose pens had writ what their swords had done."

He explained that he could not"write as a clerk, but

as a soldier," and he begs his friends and well-

wishers to accept the results!

There being no printing-press in America, his first

writings appeared in London, in 1608 the year

that Milton was born. Eight volumes, large and

small,related to

Virginia, givingaccount

"of Such

Occurrences and Accidents of Note as hath Hap-


there. In fact, Captain Smith must not only

have interested others in book-making but also

tempted many to the colony.


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His best book," A General History of Virginia,"

is a rough-hewn recountal of the initial contact with

the wilderness, made by the adventurous pen of one

who was always the centre of the adventures! His

fault was boastfulness but had he not a right to

glory in his great deeds?

In speaking of Virginia, he quaintly says:-


There is but one entrance into this country, and that

is at the mouth of a goodly bay eighteen or twenty miles

broad. . . . Within is a country that may have the

prerogative over the most pleasant places known, for earth

and heaven never agreed better to frame a place for man's


The mildness of the air, the fertility of the

soil, and the situation of the rivers are as propitious to the

use of man, as no place is more convenient for pleasure,

profit, and man's sustenance, under any latitude or climate.

So, then, here is a place, a nurse for soldiers, a practice for

mariners, a trade for merchants, a reward for the good, and

that which is most of all, a business to bring such poor in-

fidels to the knowledge of God and His Holy Gospel."

Recall these words to-day! Think of his Old

Point Comfort of the many that have since found

comfort within its harbour; and of its Military

School which has become truly'

a nurse for sol-

diers"; of Hampton Roads and "its practice for

mariners"; of "the trade for merchants," at New-

port News and Norfolk; and best of all, of the

gracious Hampton Institute, with its civilising and

Christianising influences. Was not Captain Smith,


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with everything else, gifted with prophetic vision?

Besides, he first gave the Indian to American lit-

erature, for you remember that he lived long before

Cooper and Longfellow. For the race in general,

he had no respect. He dubs the Indian as incon-

stant, crafty, cautious and covetous, quick-tempered,

malicious and treacherous. He made an exception,

however,in his Pocahontas


maybe a

mythbut it is his finest bit of colouring.

How vivid is the picture of his capture by Pow-

hatan his rescue by the beautiful maiden; of her

bringing corn to the famished colonists, and her

later royal reception in London as the daughter of

an Indian king. It is the first dramatic tale that

comes into American literature.

John Smith began his literary work when Shakes-

peare was. writing; he, too, was a dramatist, but in

a different way. While some of his descriptions

border on the marvellous, he is always able to make

up in romance what he lacks in history, and his com-

positions have done more to preserve his fame than

his brave doings.

His enemies accused him of exaggeration, saying

that" He writ too much, and done too little." But

whatever he"writ


and whatever he"done,"


chivalrous narrative is a most valuable literary relic.

We do not like to think that Captain John Smith,

our earnest chronicler,"died poor and neglected in

England," but so it is told.


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The"English Drayton


in a"spirited valedic-


to the three ship-loads of heroic fortune-

hunters who had sailed from England, in 1606,

prophesies for them a literary future :

"And as there plenty grows

Of laurel everywhere,

Apollo's sacred tree

You it may see

A poet's brows

To crown, that may sing there."


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AND there were other attempts besides that of Cap-

tain John Smith to leave to posterity a literary rec-

ord. William Strachey, secretary of the colony,

wrote and sent to London, in 1610, a manuscript,

telling of a fierce storm and shipwreck off the Ber-

muda Islands"the still vex'd Bermoothes


this thrilling description, it is thought, may have

furnished a plot to Shakespeare in " The Tempest."

George Sandys, treasurer of the colony, working

sometimes by the light of a pine knot, made a most

imaginative translation of Ovid's"Metamorphoses."

And there were later adventurers and annalists:

among them,Colonel William



brilliant man, and an amateur in literature, who, in

1736, when writing the history of his experience in

running a dividing line between Virginia and North

Carolina, gives a pleasant picture of colonial life;

but he says :


They import so many negroes hither, that I fear the

colony will, some time or other, be known by the name of

' New Guinea.'"

Bacon's Rebellion was one of the most striking


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episodes in these anti-Revolutionary times; and in

1676, "The Burwell Papers' described it, and in

these appeared some elegiac verses on the death of

Nathaniel Bacon.

So Virginia, the"Cradle of the Republic," be-

came, also, the"Cradle

"of a literature associated

with noble names.

Many of the colonists came from the titled ranks

of English society. They were the originators of

the"F. F. V's," or

"First Families of Virginia,"

and strongly bound both to royalty and the Estab-

lished Church. Instead of building many towns,

theseplanters spent

a manorial existence on their

broad estates, devoting their free and careless hours

to fox-hunting, horse-racing, and cock-fighting.

Robert Beverly, in his"History of Virginia,"

published in 1705, emphasises Southern hospitality.

Indeed, this was one of the strongest traits in the

character of the planter. Families of ample meanssent their sons abroad to be educated; and the court-

house rather than the school was the nucleus of social

and political life.

It was proposed early in the seventeenth century

to build a University, and some Englishmen donated

the money for the purchase of the land; but a terrible

Indian massacre interfered. So William and Mary

College was not begun at Williamsburg until 1660,

and did not receive its charter until 1693. It was

closely fashioned after Oxford, in England; and

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James Blair, its founder, and author of"The

Present State of Virginia," was a man alike of force

and intellect. And many more old chroniclers there

were who wrote about Virginia, the State destined

later on to be"The Mother of Presidents."

Doubtless, their documents are historically valuable

but they would form curious reading for us.

And what

maywe find in

Jamestown to-dayto

help us recall our earliest colonial literature? Only

a few indefinite relics. Captain Smith selected this

as"a fit place for a great city," but it proved too

marshy and unhealthful. The land, however, has

been recently set apart by the"Virginia Antiquarian

Society," in order to preserve the ruins.

Among them, there is seen under water the re-

mains of a powder-house built by Captain Smith.

There are, also, some graves in an ancient burial-

ground. The most attractive thing is an old church

tower, which legend says stands upon the spot where,

under a sail stretched between the trees, the colonists

first worshipped. Near this to-day is a statue of

valorous John Smith, whose pluck and daring laid

the foundation of our earliest literary structure. The

inscription reads:"So thou art brass without but gold


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JAMESTOWN and Plymouth were the rallying-points

of very distinct ideals in this dawn of American civ-

ilisation, and the contrast was typical even in the

landing of Cavaliers and Pilgrims.

The former arrived in Virginia, amid the blossom

and fragrance of the Southern spring-time, while the

Pilgrims, in 1620, thirteen years later, disembarked

in the dead of winter on the bleak New England

coast so bleak that in a few months there were

but forty-four survivors of the hundred who had

come on the May/lower.

Stern men were these Pilgrims! Having earlier

opposed the Established Church, they had been

"harried out of England, by King James I, and

after toilsome years in Holland, the little company

set sail for America not seeking gold and gems

like the Cavaliers but just'

Freedom to worship

God.' And with the Puritans who landed with


1630, theywere for

nearlytwo cen-

turies masters of the religious, political, and literary

life of New England.

These devout Old Testament heroes laboured with

desperate zeal, for time was too solemn to be frit-


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tered away. Narrow and bigoted, of restrained

speech, they had come to enjoy religious liberty

never to give it! Those who dared differ from

them must follow their example and seek other lands.

In truth, these fanatical nation-builders commended

the persecution of witches, and forbade Friends and

Baptists to join them.

Yet with all their fanaticism and all their mistakes

they planted"a Government by the People, a

Church without a Bishop, a State without a King."

Perhaps they did this more securely, because their

vision was bounded by theology, law, and education.

Plymouth, Massachusetts, was their first settle-

ment, and hardly were their primitive cabins built

here before the rectangular meeting-house topped

the hill; and on its flat roof small cannon were

placed, making it at once a military as well as reli-

gious post. Summoned to church by the drum-beat,

it was compulsory to go, and none were freemen

until they became church members.

Every man carried his gun, and with the Indian

ever in the foreground, spiritual warfare was too

often converted into earthly conflict. The Bible was

the text-book; the sermon might easily be from

two to four hourslong,

and theprayers, too,


lengthy and profound.

At first, the congregation did not sing, for sing-

ing turned the mind from God; but Rev. John Cot-

ton investigated the subject under several heads, and

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citing as an illustration that Paul and Silas sang

Psalms in prison, it was finally decided that the

Puritans might sing, too.

Several divines assisted in making a metrical ver-

sion of the Book of Psalms. In doing this, they

were faithful to the original Hebrew, and the ver-

sion was inharmonious, without poetic grace, the

apology being:-

' We have respected rather a plaine translation then to

smooth our verses with the sweetness of any paraphrases

and soe have attended conscience rather than elegance.

. . . That soe we may sing in Sion the Lord's songs of

prayse accordingto his owne

will;until hee take us from

hence and wipe away all our teares, and bid us enter our

Master's ioye to sing eternall Hallehuiahs."

The"Bay Psalm Book


was one of the very

first books printed in America. It came from the

Cambridge Press, in 1640. When it was used the

Psalms were lined off, two lines at a time, and this

was followed by the command"Sing !



the"Bay Psalm Book

"is a curiosity of literature.

Here is one of the paraphrases :-

" How good and sweet, O see

For brethren 'tis to dwell

As one in unity!

It's like choice oyl that fell

The head upon

That down the beard unto

Beard of Aaron."


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From an ulu w i cut.




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It may be added that attendance at service was

the only amusement shared by the sanctimonious

Pilgrims, and from it came strength for the weekly

conflict. To them,"Remember the Sabbath day, to

keep it holy" held a meaning quite unknown now.

New Englanders may well be proud of such ancestry,

and yet congratulate themselves that they did not

belongto the earlier

generations.Literature in these days was the handmaid of re-

ligion, and attendance at school was as obligatory as

at church. Settlements of fiftyfamilies were com-

pelled to establish a school if there were a hun-

dred, it must be a grammar-school.

In 1636, Cambridge College was founded. It

did not receive like William and Mary, in Vir-

ginia rich gifts from English donors; but the four

hundred pounds with which it was started were gotten

in New England. Two years later, by bequest of

John Harvard, a young Charlestown minister, the

college had an endowment fund of three thousand

five hundred dollars, and three hundred volumes

constituting his entire library.

In 1639, it was ordered that"the college agreed

upon formerly to bee built at Cambridg shal bee

called HarvardColledge,"

in honour of its first

benefactor; and in 1650, the institution was char-

tered"for the education of the English and Indian

youth of the country in knowledge and godlyness."

Nearly a hundred years after John Harvard's


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death, the alumni of Harvard University erected a

monument to his memory in the burial-ground of

Charlestown, dedicated with an address by Edward


Yale College was founded in 1700, and its library

was begun at a meeting of Connecticut ministers,

each depositing forty books upon a table, declaring

as he laid them down :" I give these books for the

founding of a college in this colony." A commem-

orative stone may be seen at Saybrook, Connecticut,

the original site of the college.

We are reminded of Burges Johnson's words :

" The little Yankee colleges, God bless them heart and


Each little lump of leaven that leaveneth the whole;

What need of mighty numbers if they fashion, one by one,

The men who do the little things a-needing to be done?"

And from the"stern and rock-bound

"New Eng-

land coast - - the land of the evening lamp and the

winter fire - - has come to us a more abundant litera-

ture than from the"Sunny South." Weighty tomes

there are with cumbersome titles that belong to the

seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and while our

literature ofto-day

concerns itselfchiefly with


nineteenth and twentieth centuries, we must, in order

to get the continuity of our subject, take from the top

shelf of the dark closet a few of these dusty record-

ings, and glance at the men who penned them,,


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Governor Bradford - - himself a Mayflower

passenger was an inveterate diarist. He ruled

the Province from 1621 to 1657, and it is said that

he managed the affairs with the discretion of a Wash-

ington. He was the skilful diplomat who during

a famine when a chief sent to the colony a bundle of

arrows tied in a serpent's skin returned the skin

crammed with powder and bullets.

Governor Bradford appears here not because of

his political wisdom, but as the author of his unique"History of Plymouth Plantation." This was not

written in Captain John Smith's boastful style, but

just as a quaint, vigorous, straightforward chronicle,

inspired by piety.

It describes feelingly the persecution in England;

the departure for Holland; the setting forth from

Delfthaven; the perils encountered on the furious

ocean; the compact and the landing; the desolate

wilds and famine; the sufferings and death-roll of the

first winter; troubles and treaties with the Indians;

the building of the State on a sure foundation;- - all

ending in peace and liberty.

This picturesque but ponderous year-book would

have made Governor Bradford a forerunner in

letters, but he can hardly be ranked as


The Fatherof American Literature," as he has sometimes been

styled. There are fine passages but little perspective.

The following which refers to leaving Holland has

always been accounted a gem.-


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"So they lefte yt goodly and pleasant citie which had

been ther resting-place near 12 years; but they knew they

were pilgrimes, and looked not much on those things, but

lift up their eyes to ye heavens, their dearest countrie, and

quieted their spirits."

The manuscript of this famous"History of Ply-

mouth Plantation," consisting of two hundred and

seventy pages, disappeared from Boston in colonial

days, and came into the possession of the Lord Bishop

of London. In 1897, on request, he generously re-

stored it to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

On Plymouth's hallowed"Burial Hill," stands a

marble obelisk, in memory of Governor William

Bradford, Zealous Puritan and Sincere Christian,

Governor of Plymouth Colony, 1621-1657.

Edward Winslow (1595-1655), was another well-

known Plymouth diarist. His, however, was a day-

book, not a year-book. He was greatly interested

in the Indians, specially in the courteous Massasoit.

He became governor and was three times in office.

Governor John Winthrop (1588-1649), also re-

corded doings colonial. He was an aristocratic

Englishman of marked wisdom, who, having been

elected in England as Puritan leader of the Massa-


Bay Colony,set sail with his charter and

about a thousand followers, in 1630. They settled

on the site of modern Boston.

Governor Winthrop, the leading spirit, was his-

torian. His noted"Journal," called

" A History


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WE have referred to Rev. John Cotton, in connection

with the"Bay Psalm Book." He was a robust

preacher, who, fleeing from Boston, England, on ac-

count of Bishop Laud's persecution, came over to the

village of Trimountain, which in his honour was

named Boston, and which as has been said was later

the capital of Governor Winthrop's colony; and it

is a curious fact that while he fled to escape persecu-

tion, he waged fiercest war against the Baptist

Roger Williams.

He wrote perhaps half a hundred books, but the

only thing by which we recall him is his little nine-

paged"Catechism," entitled

"Spiritual Milk for

Babes." This was first published in England, while

he was pastor there in Boston; but it was many times

re-issued in America, for it became"the Catechism


in an age of catechism-making. It was bound with


"so that the

youngest New Englandermight imbibe

"spiritual milk

' :

while learning the

alphabet; and the Primer, too, was a sort of sacred

book, many Biblical facts being inculcated in its



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Indeed, with the very first letter" A "

was the

gloomy announcement:

"A. In Adam's fall,

We sinned all."

and the following are some of the other rhymes :


G. As runs the glassMan's life doth pass.

J. Job feels the rod

But blesses God.

N. Nightingales sing

In time of spring.

S. Samuel anoints

Whom God appoints.

Z. Zaccheus he

Did climb a tree

Our Lord to see."

And so with nearly every letter is impressed some

lesson either from the Bible or history or Nature;

and those simple, rhythmic lines were dear to those

who learned their" New England Catechism

' *


heart." When we realise what both Pilgrims and

Puritans stood for, it was most natural that even the

children should be trained in theology!

Another of these early divines was Thomas


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Hooker (1586-1649), the founder of Hartford.

He usually preached over two hours and wrote many

pamphlets with ponderous titles. It seems sad that

so much brain-energy was expended in literature

scarcely read to-day for there were great theolo-

gians among the makers of the new nation.

The Mather family was far and


the most

illustrious clerical-literary one, in the seventeenth and

eighteenth centuries. Ten of its members were min-

isters three of them very famous. Sturdy, indom-

itable supporters of Calvin's theology, their cease-

less sermons and treaties ended only with their lives.


wasthe father


Englishdivine, with stentorian voice and majestic manner,

who came to New England, in 1635. Next was his

son Increase (1639-1723), who, entering Harvard

at twelve, was in turn preacher, diplomat, and edu-

cator. He later became the sixth President of Har-

vard College. He was as full of superstition as of

piety, and devils were to him so real that he took a

most active part in the persecution of witches.

Increase Mather wrote nearly one hundred works,

but we name just one his quaint, weird"Essay for

Recording Illustrious Providences." It is a curious

mixture of religious awe and sentiment, full of

ghosts and demons and thunders and lightnings and


The last and most renowned of the family was

Cotton Mather (1663-1728). He was so pious that


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as a mere child he composed forms of prayer for his

school-mates and he made them use them,"though

they cuffed him " in return. As a boy, too, he under-

took serious vigils to make himself holy, and always

led the life of an ascetic.

This youthful prodigy entered Harvard at eleven.

At twelve, he knew Hebrew, and had already mas-


Greek and Latin authors.

Hehad a

marvellous memory and could be theological in sev-

eral languages, specially the dead ones: he quoted

from classic writers quite as readily as from English


His principle was never to waste a single minute,

and prominently displayed in his study to meet the

visitor's eye, was the phrase"Be Short." He began

to preach at seventeen, and later was associated with

his father over North Church, Boston; and he re-

tained this pastorate until his death, in 1728 and

during these forty-three years, he dominated over all

his listeners. His style was like that of Dr. Johnson.

While he fully justified the persecution of the witches,

he was a life-long worker among Indians, prisoners,

and sailors.

He was born and he died in Boston, and was

never onehundred miles away from

thistown, named

as has been told for his maternal grandfather, Rev.

John Cotton. It is said that he possessed one of the

largest libraries in America. He was such an inces-

sant writer that his own three hundred and eighty


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publications alone would have made him a good-sized

bookcase in those days; indeed, he was himself 'a

walking library."

The work that lives is his'

Magnalia Christi

Americana," or"Ecclesiastical History of New Eng-

land." This is called"The Prize Epic of New

England Puritanism." It was published in London,

in 1702, and widely read in the eighteenth century.

It is a fantastic store-house of both useful and useless

knowledge, relating to New England life, and in its

day it stood forth as a remarkable book. Dear old

credulous Dr. Mather ! how the surprising stories of



interested the Puritan households !

And Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe has told how as

a child she ardently believed every one. She read,

and re-read, till she felt that she, too, belonged to a

consecrated race, and her soul was filled with a desire

to go forth and do some valiant deed.

If ever a man was imbued with the idea that he

had a divine mission - - that man was Cotton Mather.

Next, in our category, we place John Eliot (1604-

1690), "The Apostle to the Indians." Educated

at Cambridge, England, he appeared in New Eng-

land, in 1631. This was at a time when the Puritans

were most incensed against the






as they called the Indians,

and they were already beginning to crowd them out

of the land. But colonial threats could not prevent

Eliot from an interest in a race that he thought


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descendants of the"Lost Tribes of Israel," and in

the spirit of an old Bible prophet, he determined to

devote his life to their conversion.

Among his other writings, he assisted in the para-

phrasing of the "Bay Psalm Book"; but his won-

derful literary monument is the translation of the

Bible into Algonquin. We remember that the

strange Indian language had no written form so

Eliot had to create one. After patiently accom-

plishing this most difficult task, he set himself to the

still greater one of translating the Bible into the writ-

ten language which he had created.

And Eliot's Bible is an inestimable contribution to

philology, and ranks its maker among the foremost

literary men of America. This the first Bible

printed here appeared a little later in the seven-

teenth century than the English translation so famil-

iar to us. That was issued by order of King James

I, and made by forty-seven scholars; John Eliot's

work was unaided, and his Bible is in our day the

only relic of a tribe and language of the past. There

are probably but four copies in existence.

Well did this faithful missionary deserve his title!

Twenty-four of his converts assisted in establishing

small churches of natives in both Plymouth andMassachusetts Bay Colonies. Even on the day of

his death, he lay upon his bed, teaching a dusky lad

his letters.

Hawthorne gives Eliot this beautiful tribute:


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"I have sometimes doubted whether there was more than

a single soul among our forefathers who realised that an

Indian possessed a mind and a heart and an immortal soul.

That single man was John Eliot !


We have noted how the Puritans established

but would not grant- -

liberty, and the story of Roger

Williams (1606-1683), forms anexcellent illustra-

tion. He was an impetuous, warm-hearted Baptist

clergyman of Salem, who dared assert that every

one had a right to worship God in his own way.

Indeed, Governor Winthrop relates in his"History

of New England"



Notwithstanding the injunction laid upon Roger Wil-

liams not to go about to draw others to his opinion that he

did use to entertain company in his house and preach to


And he had to suffer for his fearless modern views.

Driven from Massachusetts, he fled to the South, andfounded a settlement on Narragansett Bay, which he

named Providence, in the firm belief that God had

directed him there.

Roger Williams's literary theme is'


Liberty," in defence of his constant controversies

with the Puritans the most memorable being

the one with Rev. John Cotton.

Side by side with these worthies, but in a later age,

appears that most profound theological philosopher,

Rev. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758).


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He was born at East Windsor, Connecticut, and

at six commenced the study of Latin. He was such

a pious child that he was allowed to join the Church

when very young a thing unusual in those days.

As his studies progressed, he proved to be such a

marvel of youthful brilliancy that he was entirely be-

yond the comprehension of his teachers. He loved

the woods and stars in fact was interested in all

natural sciences specially in electric experiments,

even prophesying Franklin's later achievements.

At fourteen, he said that he read Locke's"Essay

on the Human Understanding" "

with more pleasure

than that felt by the greedy miner when gathering

nuggets of gold and silver." He graduated at seven-

teen from Yale College, and for a while remained

there as tutor. He planned to spend thirteen hours

daily in study, and framed seventy resolutions for his

conduct which he aimed to keep until the end.

Modest and lovable, enduring a life of many priva-

tions, and never in robust health, Jonathan Edwards

is a rare type of moral heroism.

For twenty-three years, he was minister over the

Northampton Church. Here his sympathy was

aroused in the work of young David Brainerd, the

consecrated toiler

among theIndians. Brainerd

died at the home of his pastor friend, and the latter

wrote his life.

The congregation at Northampton was, at first,

strongly attracted to this young preacher; but with


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time it grew weary of his vivid, harrowing sermons,

in which he portrayed forcibly the terrors of Calvin-

ism and more and more the people differed from

their pastor on these theological tenets. It is

strange that much as he delighted in the new era of

scientific theories and discoveries, he held so rigidly

to the orthodox views of his fathers.

Finally, he was dismissed from Northampton; and

yet so far-reaching was his fame that one hundred

and fifty years later, a bronze tablet in his memory

was placed on the wall of the old church, and here

we may see it to-day.

Jonathan Edwards left Northampton for Stock-

bridge, where for eight years he laboured as a mis-

sionary among the Indians. He had a wife and ten

children to care for and he was very poor- - so poor

that he wrote his books on the backs of letters and

newspaper margins; when riding or walking, he


bits ofpaper

on his coat one foreverys

thought that he wished afterwards to write down.

Sometimes he would be seen fluttering all over with

scraps, for he was always either thinking or writing.

And it was at Stockbridge that he wrote The

Freedom of the Will," a work which enrols him

among the finest metaphysical writers of the eight-

eenth century. But though a marvel in bold think-

ing, it is scarcely read now and it has lost its force,

because so few consider the subject from his point of

view. He wished in it to show how far God governs


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the will, and how far people choose for themselves

His theory is that the will is not self-determined,

for if it were, God would not rule over all.

In appreciation of Jonathan Edwards's literary

acumen, he was elected, in 1757, President of Prince-

ton College; and after holding office less than three

months, he died of small-pox, and was buried in the

graveyard at Princeton.

His theology made a lasting impression on the

New England thought of the eighteenth century.

A gentleman of forceful spirit, of mighty intellect,

and sternest orthodoxy such was Jonathan Ed-


The following are some of his





Resolved, To do whatever I think to be my duty, and

most for the good of mankind in general."'

Resolved, To live with all my might while I do live."


Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to im-

prove it in the most profitable way I can."

"Resolved, Never to do anything which I should be

afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life."

"Resolved, To maintain the strictest temperance in eat-

ing and drinking."


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SAMUEL SEWALL (1662-1730), the most famed

colonial diarist, is known as" The Puritan Pepys."

A graduate of Harvard, he became in 1671, Chief-

Justice of Massachusetts, and his colonial mansion

pointed out with pride in Newburyport High Street

reveals the aristocratic environment in which he lived.

As a

judge,he at one time condemned the Salem

witches, but later on, confessed to"the blame and

shame of his decision."

He was perhaps the earliest pronounced abolition-

ist of Massachusetts; for in his day there were a few

slaves in this Northern State, and in 1700, published

a tract entitled


The Selling of Joseph." This wasthe first argument written in America against the


But it is as"The Puritan Pepys

"that one may

claim more pleasing and intimate acquaintance with

Judge Sewall than with the more religious colonial

writers. Like the amusing English diarist, he walks

about his narrow world, noting its fashions and

follies, its petty humours and flirtations - -photo-

graphing his Boston as Pepys did his London.

Though he calls himself a Puritan, we catch but


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glimpses of his exceeding piety. His"Diary," with

some breaks, runs for fifty-six years (1673-1729);

and it furnishes the daily gleanings of his career from

the time that he was a young Harvard instructor until

a courtly, dignified judge. Matters, small and

great, are found in picturesque variety.

He chronicles descriptions of his relatives, friends


his fourcourtships, and


marriages. We learn of his horror of wigs and

fondness for funerals. May-poles are set up; In-

dians and pirates assert themselves; and we turn

eagerly from theological doings to scan a picture

of secular happenings in the colonies of two hun-

dred years ago, in Judge Sewall's three, goodly


What would he have thought of the comments of

the twentieth century reader upon what he deemed,

his private"Diary

"! Many, however, think it

about the only readable book of the day, and withal,

it holds its own with the great diaries of the world.

Time moves on and brings before us another

journal of a wholly different character, but of unique

interest. This is the"Journal


of John Wool-

man (1720-1722). Woolman was in turn clerk,

school-teacher, tailor, preacher, anti-slavery agitator,and above all, a sincere and lovable Quaker.

Let us add to the value of his work the estimate of

others: Coleridge was fascinated by it; Crabbe calls

it"a perfect gem "; Charles Lamb wrote,

"Get the


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writings of Woolman by heart"

;and Channing

deems it"the sweetest and purest autobiography in

the language." Whittier, in editing the book, was

"solemnised by the presence of a serene and beauti-

ful spirit."

At this time, verse-making was a feature of colo-

nial literature. People busy cutting down forests and

striving for material comforts, had no leisure to cul-

tivate either fancy or imagination, and the solemn

Puritans frowned alike on love-song and on jest; and

yet there were two poets of whom they boasted.

One was Mistress Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672),

the first authoress and first poetess in the New


She was born in England of gentle blood, care-

fully educated, and married at sixteen. Then leav-

ing an atmosphere of wealth and refinement for a

home in the Massachusetts wilderness, she and her

husband, who later became Governor Bradstreet,

embarked for America, in 1630, with John Win-

throp's party.

It is singular that in her verse there is seldom a

reference to her New England surroundings. Often

real flowers bloom and real birds sing but wecatch the fragrance of English flowers and the warble

of the lark and nightingale. She sometimes makes a

good line but it is rarely sustained ^yet the follow-

ing stanza is well put:-


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The fearful bird a little nest now builds,

In trees and walls, in cities and in fields,

The outside strong, the inside warm and neat,

A natural artificer complete."

Mistress Bradstreet's poems were published with-

out her knowledge, in England, in 1650, and bore

the fulsome title :

"The Tenth Muse lately Sprung

upin America."

Wewonder what London

thoughtof this collection for it was the age of Milton!

When the copy was shown Mistress Bradstreet, she

expressed with pretty simplicity her feelings at seeing"the ill-formed offspring of her feeble brain," and

she blushed as many a later poet has done at the

printer's errors.

The Bradstreet mansion is yet pointed out at

North Andover, Massachusetts. Here its honoured

mistress brought up eight children, lightening the

burden of daily life with the consolation of litera-


In one way or another, Richard Henry Dana,

Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Wendell Phillips,

claimed descent and perchance a touch of genius

from"The Tenth Muse."

But the one famous poem in New England, two


fifty years ago,was




Doom," by Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1715).

The author who was a genial man came as a young

boy from England. He graduated at Harvard and

entered the ministry; but ill-health interfered with


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his preaching, as he intimately confides to the reader

in this introduction to his popular poem :

"I find more true delight

In serving of the Lord

Than all the good things upon earth,

Without it can afford.

Thou wonderest perhaps

That I in Print appear,

Who to the Pulpit dwell so nigh

Yet come so seldom there,

And could my strength endure,

That work I count so dear,

Not all the riches of Peru

Should have me to forbear."

But as his"strength

"did not

"endure," he gave

to New England a perpetual poetical sermon, the

text of which was"The Day of Doom," and it is

conspicuous as the earliest prolonged poem.

This appealed tremendously to the zealous Puri-

tan becauseit

pictured in suchterrific

colouring theCalvinistic doctrine of

"the Elect

"transported re-

joicing to heaven, while the wicked were consigned

to the pit of woe. It was like one of those mediaeval

representations of the"Last Judgment."

The first edition printed in sheets was widely cir-

culated. Lowell terms it The solace of every

fireside." The elders pondered it, while children

were obliged to commit it to memory with their cate-

chism, and for a whole century Michael Wiggles-

worth's direct and forceful - -yet monotonous verses


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in their sing-song metre, held extraordinary sway

over the readers even causing many to shudder!

In citing a few landmarks of colonial literature,

we have done it topically rather than historically.

We have discovered that in the seventeenth century,

the theological writers of New England who were

indebted for their style to their knowledge of the

grandeur and poetic beauty of the Bible seemedto overshadow all other inspirations. But in the

eighteenth century, this solemn literature that had

grown up about the meeting-house and the fireside

was getting away from week-day life.

A growing commercial prosperity was now giving

influence to social conditions; and the colonies strewn

along the Atlantic coast, at first independent of one an-

other, were allied in common themes: politics rather

than theology began to dominate statesmanship.

There had been before a fashion for writing mort-


verses andepigrams;

and to these were now

added essays and newspapers and other periodical

literature. There was increasing interest in alma-

nac-making. Indeed, the almanac came to be a per-

fect encyclopaedia, full of snatches of respectable

literature which tempted one to seek further.

Books of Nature and travel, too, made their ap-

pearance: as example of the latter, in 1704, Sarah

Kemble Knight gave to the world her graphic de-

scription offive months' adventures on a horseback

trip from Boston to New York.


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This colonial epoch as we have said opened when

the glorious "Elizabethan Era" was at its zenith.

It closed at about the time that the"Wits

"of Queen

Anne's reign were prattling in"Tatler



tator," and the trio of eighteenth century novelists

were weaving their fictions. But while centuries of

scholarly thought and life had been expended upon

authorship in America, no drama or novel or story

appeared in colonial literature - - not one such book

that we would mark to-day as of the highest literary


Plymouth, Massachusetts,which was

designatedby the Pilgrims as

"the howling wilderness


to-day more definite landmarks of their arrival there,

in 1620, than does Jamestown of the coming of the

Cavaliers, in 1607. This is a most interesting

region for the student to visit. Not many miles dis-

tant is the imposing monument at Cape Cod, recently

dedicated, on the site of the first landing-place.

And who can forget the beautiful panorama of

Plymouth Harbour, the world-famed rock, Pilgrim

Hall, the colonial houses, and Burial Hill; and

crowning all, the noble national monument to the

forefathers, upon which stands"Faith." In one

hand, she holds a Bible with the other, she points

heavenward. This memorial was placed here by a

grateful people, in appreciation of labours, sacrifices,

and sufferings, in the cause of religious liberty!


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apprenticed him at twelve to his brother James, and

he learned easily to set types. He was even then

an omnivorous reader, and every penny that he could

spare was spent on literature, and there was no

variety from which to choose. Of the six hundred

books published during the first twelve years of his

life, about five hundred were on religious subjects,

and fifty more were almanacs.

As far as we know, not a copy of Shakespeare had

made its way into Boston- -but all the same, Benja-

min read everything that he could lay his hands upon."Plutarch's Lives


"Pilgrim's Progress





day amongsuch classical and theological works, he came across

a copy of"Spectator," really a novelty in the town.

This was fortunate, for he was just trying to form

his own style by studying the uses of common words

rightly placed.

He was delighted with the essays; read and re-

read them; made outlines from them; and presently

caught the trick of composition and ventured to write

himself. His expression was not so light and grace-

ful as that of Addison and Steele but full of com-

tmon sense and blunt humour.

In 1721, the brother started " The New England

Courant," and Benjamin, now fifteen, determined to

become a contributor; so he stuck one of his own

essays anonymously under the printing-house door.

It was accepted, others followed, and people liked


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can "; but this knocking about proved fit preparation

for a broad career. Wiser for his experience, he

returned, in 1726, to Philadelphia which ever after

was his home.

A born printer, publisher, and editor, he began

business by shrewdly advertising his proficiencyin

all three. He also opened a stationer's shop, and

like the young Jonathan Edwards in spiritual mat-

ters, he, too, drew some"


in regard to

managing the temporal affairs of his life, some of

them being on temperance, silence, frugality, and in-

dustry. The one on "resolve"

is as follows:

"Resolve to perform what you ought,

Perform without fail what you resolve."

Franklin bought out"The Pennsylvania Gazette,"

the first American magazine. He was interested in

science and began to show himself a man of affairs.


he married Elizabeth Read, and for

many years she stood by him in the humble stationer's

shop, aiding him by her frugality; and presently

our forefather of American editors, publishers and

printers, drew about him many prominent people.

He was already outgrowing his environment, and

transferring the literary centre from Boston to Phila-


Think of some of the things that he did, that early

converted this town into the foremost of American

cities. He organised here the first regular fire and


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police forces of which our country could boast; in-

vented the Franklin stove to give out more heat with

less wood. He helped to establish hospitals. Heformed a debating club called

"The Junta," the

members of which kept their books at the rooms, and

so easily out of it grew the first circulating library.

He set on foot an academy, now the University of

Pennsylvania;and he



principlethat if he wished a thing well done, he must do it


Then he started his"Poor Richard's Almanac,"

which, as we shall later see, helped the Philadel-

phians in forming regular, saving, and industrious

habits. He became clerk of the General Assemblyand postmaster of Philadelphia.

Finally, in 1748, when he was forty-two years old,

he retired from business; for he had gained a com-

petence and desired more leisure which"


he defined as"a time for doing something useful."

His journalism and scientific investigations were al-

ready giving him world-wide fame, and he wished

to accomplish even greater results in both.

As postmaster of Philadelphia, he had felt the

necessity of a centralised system for all the colonies.

To further his

purpose,he travelled in a


his daughter Sallie throughout the"Thirteen Colo-

nies," and in 1755, was appointed Postmaster-


In order to understand his later work as statesman


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and diplomat, we must briefly glance at the growing

unrest that confronted him. One result of the

French and Indian War had been to teach the colo-

nies a lesson of union against a common foe, and

loyalty to England was at once giving place to

patriotism. King George Third seemed to realise

this and with high-handed measures tried to quell

it but he little understood the spirit of his sub-

jects scattered along the shore beyond the wide


Franklin had been twice to England first as a

journeyman-printer, and in 1757, as an agent from

Pennsylvaniato settle a

disputewith the heirs of

William Penn; and now, in 1765, as foremost Amer-

ican diplomat, he was sent again this time to en-

lighten the Mother Country about her duty to the



-by protesting against the

Stamp Act.

Somewhat later, we find our dignified advocate,

standing before the court of the mightiest kingdom

upon earth. What cared he for its pomp and pag-

eantry as with calm demeanour and forceful argument

he earnestly pleaded the cause of the colonies ! and

his address made such an impression that the obnox-

ious Stamp Act was repealed.

Among other things that Franklin did in London

was to publish anonymously a most clever essay:"Rules for Reducing a Great Empire to a Small

One." This was an imaginary edict issued by the


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King of Prussia, in which by right of ancestry, he

asserts a claim to tax England and make her laws.

It was written that England might see herself from

the American point of view.

An amusing incident occurred in connection with

this. Franklin, a little later, was visiting an Eng-

lish lord when the valet broke into the room,


newspaperas he


"Here's news for ye ! Here's the King of Prussia

claiming a right to this kingdom !


Franklin endeavoured by every persuasion to avert

war, but this he could not accomplish, and naturally

he made enemies and lost power beyond the seas.

Dr. Johnson even pronounced him"

a master mis-

chief-maker." Finally despairing of future useful-

ness, he sailed for home, reaching there at just about

the time when the first guns were fired at Lexington

and Concord.

He was at once elected to the Revolutionary Con-

gress, and on July Fourth, 1776, signed the Declara-

tion of Independence; and when Harrison appealed

for a unanimous vote in the Senate, it was Franklin

who exclaimed: "We must all hang together or

assuredly we shall all hang separately !


Duringhis ten


abroad,his wife had

died, and his daughter Sallie had taken her place at

the head of his household; but quiet days were not

for him yet another diplomatic mission awaited;

for though seventy years of age, he was sent as com-


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missioner to the court of France to win sympathy for

our nation in her war with England.

The French were delighted to receive him. To

them, he was"the personification of


the rights of

man ' "the very principles which they were pre-

paring to assert in their own Revolution. Franklin's

demands were met France generously aiding the

colonies with both money and ships. Mirabeau

styled Franklin "The Genius that freed America";

and another called him"

a modern Solon."

A friend of King Louis XVI. and Queen Marie

Antoinette, and surrounded by admiring courtiers,

he - - even at Versaillesmaintained dignified


plicity; but he seemed by nature a patrician and

greatly enjoyed court life.

Popular enthusiasm for Franklin ran high !

Everywhere he heard his proverbs repeated in

French. Applauded in public, people gathered in

the streets to see him pass; his face appeared alike in

print-shops and in the boudoirs of court ladies.

They wore bracelets and carried snuff-boxes adorned

with his head, and discussed his merits about a

Franklin stove in the salon. Poets rhymed sonnets

in his praise; and when a medal was struck in his

honour, the great Turgot wrote an inscription which

translated reads :

" He has seized the lightning from

Heaven and the sceptre from tyrants."

And then at the close of the Revolutionary War,

with his fellow-commissioners, Adams and Jay, he


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cordially conducted peace negotiations with England,

and in 1783, signed the treaty, and when Thomas

Jefferson was sent to France to replace him, Jefferson


I may succeed but can never replace him."

And the venerable diplomat returned and was wel-

comed by triumph and celebration as"The Father

of Independence." He now becomes one of the

framers and signers of the new Constitution.In-

deed, his signature has been affixed to more of the

early State compacts than that of any other man.

It seemed as if no measure could be accomplished

without his touch!

But with added honours, Franklin somehow grew

more serious. He missed old companions and nowat eighty years of age, felt the pains incident to in-

firmity and disease, and he said one day: "I seem

to have intruded myself into the company of posterity

when I ought to have been abed and asleep."

And yet he w^s cheerful and in the intervals of

suffering, read and wrote and told many stories. He

approached death without fear, saying that as he

had seen a good deal of this world, he felt a growing

curiosity to be acquainted with some other - - but he

was not a religious man.

He died at Philadelphia the city of his loveon April seventeenth, 1790. Twenty thousand wit-

nessed his burial; and from that day to this, probably

millions more have done him reverence as they have

stood before the plain, unobtrusive slab that marks


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vented the lightning-rod. Every school-boy knows



of"the kite-flying." Indeed, his scientific

essays and discoveries gave him world-wide fame.

Both Harvard and Yale conferred honours upon

him; England made him a Fellow of the Royal So-

ciety; he was called in France,"the foremost scien-


in Germany,"the modern Prometheus."

Dr. Franklin was very proud of his 'A.M." and"LL.D."

He was not an author by profession and could not

be noted as a very literary man, for he was entirely

destitute of ideals and poetic genius.

But he had a peculiar gift of combining clear ex-

pression with a bit of wisdom to catch the reader's

eye, and a keen insight into human nature. One has

said of him:"But seldom do the good notions of the

world get jogged along by so sturdy and helpful a

force as Benjamin Franklin."

Hewas a

charming letter-writer,

and heearly

marked the important influence played by the alma-

nac in the colonial home. Suspended by a string

from the chimney-side, it was studied almost as much

as the Bible and catechism. He finally resolved to

write one; and beginning in 1732, for a quarter of a


Poor Richard's Almanac'

was printed

yearly."Richard Saunders, Philomath," was the nominal

author; but Dr. Franklin always stood behind"Rich-

ard"and preached, like the proverbial schoolmaster,

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a continued sermon in diligence and thrift. He

thus ministered to the needs of every day for he

told the people what to do and they did it !

Dr. Franklin in his modesty disclaimed much

originality in the selection of these proverbs but

he had most apt skill in putting them. Read over

and over, committed to memory and quoted, these

maxims were heard even in the Sunday's sermon

-indeed, they were the common law of living. The



promptly passed into circulation, and

every issue was eagerly awaited not only in Phila-

delphia but up and down the coast as a"general


The pioneer claimed it; it sped across the ocean

to be published in Europe in several languages; and

all the twenty-five years, its annual sale was ten thou-

sand copies; for apart from the calendar and absurd

weather predictions, it was full of wisdom not

sparkling and elegant but with whimsical glean-

ings of observation on human nature by our first

American humourist.

As preface to the final copy in 1758, he gathered

into a connected discourse many of the best proverbs

and named it:"Father Abraham's Visit to the Fair,"


The Way to Wealth." This is perhaps the

most widely read of all, not only in our own land,

but in European countries.

And what wonder that one who held a brisk pen,

and who lived from the day of the colonial diary


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VII Mot;. September

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through the whole Revolutionary era, and was able

to congratulate General George Washington as the

first President of the United States, should naturally

write a characteristic and captivating"Autobi-



Read his "Almanac"; appropriate the proverbs;

ponder on"The Whistle


"Turning the Grind-

stone "; on


Father Abraham's Visit to the Fair ";indeed ponder his essays on many subjects; but if

you would feel the perennial charm of his personal-

ity,read his


Begun in 1771, it is left unfinished in 1788.

It is as simple in style as"Robinson Crusoe



" Pilgrim's Progress," and in it Dr. Franklin treats

himself with perfect frankness, without a thought of

compliment. By his "Autobiography' he is most

widely known, for it has been translated into nearly

every civilised language. Curious as it seems, it was

first published in French, and did not reach a correct

English edition until 1868, when the Hon. John

Bigelow, another famous American diplomat, ed-

ited it with his own notes.

Even if Dr. Franklin was not a literary man by

profession, he certainly led others to an interest in

literary subjects. We remember what Sidney Smith,

the brilliant English wit, said one day to his


I will disinherit you, if you do not ad-

mire everything written by Dr. Franklin."

But what he wrote was not a fraction of what he


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did, and one might write books and books and not

tell it all.



over our broad land,we find memorials to Franklin, side by side with

those to Washington and Lincoln. Specially in our

National Capital, he is seen on the avenue, in the

Congressional Library, in Statuary Hall, and in the

White House; and everywhere his old home Phila-

delphia records the honour which she pays to her

adopted son; in public park and building, in portrait

and historic scene, in architecture and sculpture

look where one will - - the renown of Dr. Franklin

is perpetuated.


Many a little makes a mickle.

Little strokes fell large oaks.

A small leak will sink a great ship.

The cat in gloves catches no mice.

One to-day is worth two to-morrows.

An empty sack cannot stand upright.

Little boats should keep near shore.

Three removes are as bad as a fire.

Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in

no other.

Those have a short Lent who owe money to be paid at


Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for

that's the stuff life is made of.

God helps them that help themselves.


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So Franklin broke with old traditions and opened the

door to a broader literature; and now we ask what

was the part played by other more serious literary


As the feeling in the colonies grew more and more

foreign to England, times called for eloquent men

and they were ready!Fiery

orators harangued,

and their words fell upon eager minds. Balladists,

wits, and prose-writers took up the liberty pen

not to win fame but freedom: so sword and voice

and printed page worked together, until American

independence and American literature were achieved!

The Revolutionary literary period preceded, at-

tended, and followed the Revolution. First there

were the balladists, who in war-time play havoc with

metre and rhyme and sing as they march. Their

songs were of a monotonous type but spirited, too,

and set to popular airs. Among them was Francis

Hopkinson's humourous " Battle of the Kegs," which

put the British in a ridiculous light, and the"Return

to Camp," sung to"Yankee Doodle."

And the"Sons of Liberty


organised in New

York, and planted and re-planted their liberty-poles,


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which were again and again cut down by the British;

and the " Daughters of Liberty" served the " Sons


with inspiring cups of tea.

The following is one of thirteen stanzas of a ditty

created by the Stamp Act :-


With the beasts of the wood we will ramble for food,

And lodge in wild deserts and caves,

And live poor as Job, on the skirts of the globe,

Before we'll submit to be slaves!"

Philip Freneau (1752-1832), was called "The

Poet of the Revolution," because in either satiric or

graceful stanza, he recklessly recorded nearly every

great event, and his four volumes of political bur-

lesque were most popular. Sometimes, too, hestruck

a gentler note, and several of his lyrics contain lines

of beauty and delicacy as in the last stanza of his

"Wild Honeysuckle


"From morning suns and evening dews,

At first thy little being came;

If nothing once, you nothing lose,

For when you die you are the same;

The space between is but an hour,

The frail duration of a flower."

Freneau's"House of Night


"Indian Bury-


are always remembered.

There was, also, a group of Yale graduates of rare

and varied gifts, who, at this time, would seek im-


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the army, composed his popular song"Columbia,"


"Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,

The queen of the world, and the child of the skies."

But this did not satisfy Dwight's ambition, for he

believed that a true epic should mark the foundation

of a literature. So seizing Pope's motto:


Fired at first sight with what the muse imparts

In fearless youth we tempt the heights of art,"

he struggled with holy themes until in 1785, he pro-


The Conquest of Canaan," in eleven vol-

umes. Cotton Mather, with his text"Be Short,"

could hardly approve its nine thousand six hundred

and seventy-one lines ! However, this ambitious epic

was dedicated to"His Excellency, George Washing-

ton, Esq., Commander, Saviour, and Benefactor of

Mankind." How Dwight's grandfather, Dr. Jona-

than Edwards, would have appreciated it ! the Puri-

tans revelled in it, comparing the writer to both

Homer and Milton!

Though this stately epic is almost unreadable now

there are some passages worthy of interest as sug-

gestive of both Canaan and Connecticut.

Patriot, classical scholar, theologian, celebrated

President of Yale College- - Dr. Timothy Dwight

was a famous man but not an epic poet.


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The third of the trio was Joel Barlow (1753-

1812). After serving as chaplain in the war, he

became a financier and diplomat. He, too, wrote

patriotic songs, and also attempted a national epic

that was to rival"The Iliad." This was


Vision of Columbus" (1787), later "The Colum-


In this, Columbus, taken from prison, is led up to

a " Hill of Vision," where Hesper unfolds before

him the history and future greatness of America.

Stately and prodigious poem, it for a little electrified

the people. They even named the guns for coast


Hawthorne later

playfully suggestedthat

" '



be set to music of artillery and

thunder and lightning and become our national

oratorio"; and in the new musical impulse that in-

spires our land, in the twentieth century, possibly

this may yet be accomplished. But our epic is not

yet written!

Still later, in far-off Switzerland, Barlow wrote and

dedicated to Lady Washington a less pretentious


Hasty Pudding." This is a lament that

foreigners may not enjoy


The sweets of hasty pudding,

My morning incense and my evening meal"


and its setting is a realistic picture of New England


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So poets sang their songs and orators fulminated with

passionate speech, and as a result the Declaration of

Independence was signed, the war was fought, the

victory won.

But Revolutionary singers and orators while they

could inspire, could not organise liberty; and in 1783,

thirteen obstinate independent little colonies waited

to be welded into union. It was a critical period;

and many prophesied that all would end in strife and

anarchy, such as in an earlier age arose in Greece and


But there came at once to the front real makers

of a nation, splendidly endowed men of noble senti-

ment, ready to do their part! Never since in the

history of our country has such a group appeared.

Among them were Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams,

Madison, Jay, and Washington. They did not

write to gain renown but to establish a strong,

flexible government and their splendid service is

counted literature.

Of these men, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826),

the great Virginian, was a most cultivated scholar

and advanced political thinker. Educated at Wil-


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signers when appending his signature, he ex-


"I will write it large enough for George Third to

read without spectacles !


And Jefferson was the first clear exponent of

democracy. He was always fearful that a central

government would overthrow individual rights.

State rather than United States rights he vindi-

cated - -democracy rather than aristocracy. His

Anti-Federalist Party bitterly opposed the Federal-

ists led by Alexander Hamilton; and even now,

Thomas Jefferson's belief in the capacity of the peo-

ple for government, helps to mould public opinion.

Jefferson was,in

every sense,a leader.


ganised a movement in favour of religious freedom,

and founded the University of Virginia. He was

the diplomatic successor of Franklin in France, and

the third President of the United States. He was a

delightful personality. His home at Monticello was

perhaps second only in interest to that of Mt. Vernon,

and its charming hospitality was felt all over the land.

Writer, educator, foreign minister, Anti-Federal-

ist, Cabinet officer, and President- - he ignored all

when he wrote the inscription for his tombstone

the silent witness of his desire to be remembered as

the author of the " Declaration."

On the Fourth of July, 1826 --just fifty years to

a day from the adoption of the Declaration Jef-

ferson died. And this was a fated day for Presi-


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dents; for John Adams,"the great pillar which sup-

ported it," also passed away, exclaiming just before

the end: "This is the glorious Fourth God bless


On the slope of the Virginia mountains, at Monti-

cello, there stands a monument upon which is in-


Here was buried

Thomas Jefferson

Author of the



American Independence

of the

Statute of Virginia


Religious Freedom

and Father of the

University of Virginia.

Alexander Hamilton (1757-1814), was an ardent

Federalist, believing in a strong central government,

and so as has been said the political opponent of

Thomas Jefferson, the Anti-Federalist. Born in the

West Indies, he was a precocious lad, who, at the

age of seventeen, while a student at King's College

(now Columbia), delivered in New York a Revolu-

tionary address which stamped him as a remarkable

youth, and his anonymous pamphlets also attracted

much notice.


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uThe little lion

"he was called. Small and dark

with fine figure, a dignified carriage, an eye that

flashed fire, and a winning personality it was not

many years before he became the foremost statesman

of the day. He distinguished himself in battle, and

was long enough on Washington's staff to prove his

patriotism. He was also employed on secret, deli-

cate missions. Owing to a creative genius for

finance, he established a protective tariff and a bank-

ing system, and in time was the first Secretary of the


In the chaos succeeding the Revolution, a Consti-

tution had been moulded for the United States by the

wisdom of thenation-builders in which the clever-

ness and force of Gouverneur Morris was very evi-

dent : but every point in it was instinct with Hamil-

ton's suggestion.

And then the question arose"Should this Con-

stitution be adopted?" and as in our own day, the

country was split by political parties, and the Consti-

tution was sharply attacked by Jefferson and his fol-


Just at this juncture (1787-1788), there appeared

in 'The New York Independent Journal" a series

of eighty-five essays entitled"The Federalist."

They were written by Jay, Madison, and Hamilton

and all over the one signature"Publius." They

were addressed to the people of the State of New


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York, urging them to adopt the Constitution that



The Fcd'ral system which at once unites

The 13 States and all the people's rights."

John Jay (1745-1829), the honoured Chief-Jus-

tice of the United States, contributedfive

of these;

James Madison,"The Father of the Constitution,"

wrote twenty-nine, and on these is based his literary

reputation; and Hamilton, the third of the great trio,

wrote fifty-one.

All these essays were on profound themes and each

is marked with sincerity and dignity. Guizot says

of those contributed by Madison :-


There is not one element of order, strength, or dura-

bility in the Constitution which he did not powerfully con-

tribute to introduce, and cause to be adopted."

The result was achieved; for in 1790, the Consti-

tution was accepted by the'

Thirteen States," and

thus national existence was firmly established.

And 'The Federalist" still remains an authority

on the principles of government; and for it we are

indebted to Hamilton more than to


other man.

Even his unswerving opposer, Jefferson, declared him1

The Colossus of the Federalists." And this chal-

lenged Constitution has adapted itself to the growing

conditions of our phenomenal government, and with


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but few amendments still remains a monument to our"Master Nation-Builder."

Hamilton built his country home,"

The Grange,"on Harlem Heights, nine miles from the city. It

was in the centre of a rolling region of field and

forest and winding roads, with a glimpse beyond of

silvery river and bay. Here, also, he planted thir-

teen gum trees as symbolic of the thirteen original


And it was on a fateful July morning, in 1804,

that Hamilton left "The Grange" and crossed the

Hudson to meet his death at the hands of Vice-Presi-

dent Aaron Burr; and he was borne to his grave in

Trinity churchyard,amid the

splendourof a



The Order of Tammany," the most

famous 'Order of the Cincinnati," Federalist and

Anti-Federalist, were all in line, and behind the bier

two black men robed in white led Hamilton's charger;

and Gouverneur Morris gave the impassioned

funeral oration in which he said:"

His sole subject

of discussion was your freedom and your happi-


To-day, at Convent Avenue and One-Hundred and

Forty-first Street, in the great city, we find"The


in good preservation, used as the rectory of

St. Luke's Church; and an apartment house covers

the site of the thirteen colonial trees. They had lived

for many years, an object of interest to sightseers.

Downtown in Trinity churchyard, not far from


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Hamilton's old city home, we read on his tombstone

the following inscription : -


Erected by the Corporation of Trinity Church, in tes-

timony of their respect for

The patriot of incorruptible integrity,

The soldier of approved valor,

The statesman of consummate wisdom, whose talents and

virtues will be admired by a grateful posterity long after

this marble shall have mouldered into dust."

And other nation-builders there were, but only one

more to whom we shall allude, and this is George

Washington,"The Father of his Country." He

left, it is true, but small mark upon the writings of

his day, but his letters and documents manifest a

pious and patriotic spirit. His public utterances

were always dignified.

In old"Fraunce's Tavern," corner of Broad and

Pearl Streets, New York, we visit the room where,

in 1783, he bade farewell to his officers, saying in



With a heart full of love and gratitude, I most de-

voutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and

happy as your former ones have been glorious and honour-


His noblest literary production, however, is his

more famous"Farewell Address," issued in Septem-

ber, 1796, on his retirement from the Presidency.


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It is full of good advice and produced a profound

sensation; and we close this period of Revolutionary

strife with its tranquil note:

"I have not only retired from all public employments,

but I am retiring within myself, and shall be able to view

the solitary walk, and tread the paths of private life, with a

heartfelt satisfaction. Envious of none, I am determined to

be pleased with all; and this being the order of my march,I will move gently down the stream of life until I sleep

with my Fathers."


Not high-raised battlement or laboured mound,Thick wall or moated gate;

Not cities fair, with spires and turrets crowned:

No: Men, high-minded men,

With powers as far above dull brutes endued,

In forest, brake, or den,

As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude -

Men who their duties know,

Know too their rights, and knowing, dare maintain;

Prevent the long-aimed blow,

And crush the tyrant, while they rend the chain."

Alcaeus (tr. Sir William Jones).

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Just about this time, too, the novel that had been

in a formative state began to materialise the novel

that in early New England was such a forbidden

pleasure that anybody guilty of enjoying one, might

be read from the pulpit; and pious old President

Dwight moralised on the great gulf fixed between the

novel and the Bible, explaining how contact with the

former must needs imperil the soul.

For another reason, also, the American novel was

belated, for before creative genius was born, England

had been a perfect treasure-house of literary models

suggestive for Americans;and except De Foe, hardly

an English novelist had appeared before the eight-


trio - -

Richardson, Fieldingand

Smollett. There had been published in America a

few silly, sentimental novels, written usually by


But the first significant novels were those of

Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810). A Phila-

delphian, he attempted to study law, but he was so

fascinated with literature that he made it a profes-

sion. He tried both in Philadelphia and New York

to establish two or three magazines. A mysterious,

picturesque romancer, he loved complicated plots,

filled with horror and mystery. Indeed, he much

more enjoyed creating these in the novels that he

wrote than the foolish, statuesque actors moving in


The first one,"Wieland," came out in 1798. To


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make his novels interesting, he realised the necessity

of giving them local colouring. He took his reader

into the out-door country, and the Indian is seen

in the wilderness. He was a careful observer of

Philadelphia life, one hundred years ago, and

his"Arthur Mervyn


gives a graphic descrip-

tion of the ravages of the plague there; and thus

Brown becomes our earliest preacher of sanitary


It seems strange that he accomplished so much

with a dearth of literary companionship, and always

hampered by ill health his short consumptive

career closing with thirty-seven years but none

may dispute his title," Father of the American


Yet another influence to better literary work is

found in the fact that strife is relaxed, and there

is leisure to think and write on other subjects than


"The Americans as a people are to take

pride in a literature of their own, and to realise that

a National literature is a National force."

And our literary roll-call is hardly a hundred years

old, so it seems as if it could not yet hold many mas-

terpieces; but like everything else in our land, litera-

ture has made marvellous growth, and authors havegrouped themselves according to congenial topics.

Great cities have always proved literary centres; and

in time Plymouth and Boston and Philadelphia gave

place to commercial New York. Here originated


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JUST across William Street, from the oldest house in

New York, built of little bricks brought from Hol-

land, there stands to-day the magnificent Under-

writers' Building, over the site where long ago stood

the modest house in which Washington Irving first

saw the light. He was the youngest of a large

family, his birthday, April thirteenth, 1783, being

just at the close of the Revolutionary War.

His mother said: "Washington's work is ended,

the child shall be named for him !


"The Father

of his Country"and


The Father of American Lit-

erature"met just once. It was when little Irving

was six years old that one day, walking with his nurse,

they saw the procession escorting Washington to

the Treasury to take the oath of office as Presi-


His nurse, pushing through the enthusiastic crowd,

exclaimed eagerly as she held forth her small charge :



your Honour,here's a bairn was named

after you!"and George Washington, gently touching

his head, bestowed a blessing upon his namesake.

Like many another genius, Washington Irving

hated school. He was, however, willing to scribble


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by the hour, and was always glad to trade essays for

problems. Not being strong, his parents encouraged

an out-of-door life and how he loved to stroll!

His quests began with the Battery, a region rich

in whimsical lore; about the pier-heads he wandered

later with dog and gun through Westchester

County, captivated with hill and wood and the witch-

ery of Sleepy Hollow, intently listening to every

recital of old Dutch legends. He sailed up the Hud-

son, gathering folk-lore all the way; and as he looked

and thought and listened he was creating a native

vein, which afterwards he was to weave into scenes

of romantic imaginings, to endow the banks of our

American Rhine with priceless legends.

He began to study law at sixteen, in Judge Hoff-

man's office, but did not enjoy it but he loved the

play, which his Puritanical father regarded a wicked

amusement; and often at night after family prayers

he would climb down from his window, and joining

his friend Paulding, would visit the old John Street


His two older brothers, after graduating at King's

College, edited"The Morning Chronicle," to which

young Washington, at nineteen, contributed some

sportive"Jonathan Oldstyle


papers, that in a

small degree satirised the town foibles. But he could

not do much; for year by year he seemed to grow

more consumptive, until when he was twenty-one, it

was decided to send him abroad for his health


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book in American literature. Indeed, some make its

publication, in 1809, the true beginning of Americanliterature. It was at once most popular, both here

and abroad. All the world laughed- -

except the

old Dutch burghers, who were insulted at the treat-

ment of their ancestors; but the humour was so gen-

tle that even with them, amusement soon followed

annoyance, and New York was most proud in being

invested with traditions like those clinging to Old

World cities.

While engaged in this work, a crushing sorrow had

come to the young author, in the death of Matilda,

the daughter of Judge Hoffman, to whom he was en-

gaged. He bore the blow like a man but he always

mourned her and never married. He could not

bear, in years to come, even to hear her name men-

tioned, and always treasured her Bible and Prayer

Book. Her steadfast friend, Rebecca Gratz, the


Jewess,Irving later described so enthusi-

astically to Scott that she became the"Rebecca



Irving was devoted to women and little children,

and with his gently modulated voice, delightful smile,

and almost courtly manner, he was to them a winning

personage. He was much sought forin


cause he added unusual wit and geniality to conver-

sation. One of his special admirers in Washington

was Dolly Madison, whose picturesque ways, tactful

sympathy, and extraordinary popularity, made her


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even as 'Mistress of the White House" just"Dolly."

Irving determined to take up arms in the War of

1812, and was appointed on the military staff of the

governor of New York but all was over, before

he distinguished himself. In 1815, he again went

abroad to look after the interests of the firm of"


ing Bros." and as the writer of"The Knickerbocker

History," he was even more delightfully received

than before. He soon claimed Southey, Moore,

Byron, Coleridge, Campbell, Rogers, Jeffrey and

Scott, among his friends and he flattered them by

his responsive familiarity with their works.


later his firmfailed;


for the

first time thrown upon his own resources, his man-

hood and genius came to the fore, and he determined

to support his family by adopting literature as a

profession, and he settled down in London to write

rapidly when the fit was upon him and again

waiting days for an inspiration.

And in 1819-20,"The Sketch Book



frey Crayon, Gentleman," counted as Irving's best

work, came out in numbers in pamphlet form. It

contained short, gracefully told stories, with unique

literary touch, in which the author gave free play to

his humour; and perhaps the most famed of these

sketches is"Rip Van Winkle."

This legend had existed in various European forms

but Irving brought it to America. He peopled the


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rocky crags of the Catskills with mountain sprites,

and there it was that the thriftless, lovable vagabond,

Rip Van Winkle, watched Hendrik Hudson and his

unruly crew play nine-pins, while he quaffed the magic

liqueur that put him to sleep for fifty years.

Another scene and this is laid in that land of

Sle-epy Hollow, where the people were always doling

out wild and wonderful legends; and sometimes in

the golden pomp of an autumn day, we may yet

imagine Ichabod Crane, jogging along upon choleric


Gunpowder," to win the heart of the country

coquette, Katrina Van Tassel; or shudder at night as

we recall the frenzied pedagogue encountering the


Headless Horseman," and being hurled into the

dust by the impact of the pumpkin!

These two tales would have made"The Sketch


immortal, but there were many other

sketches; one in which Irving represents the sad

dreariness of Westminster Abbey the"Empire of

the Dead'

- the beginning and end of human pomp

and power. Again, he describes Stratford-on-Avon

so delightfully that he sends thousands of literary

pilgrims to visit Shakespeare's home.

Then there is the English"Christmas," in which

we find the



the vast hall and laden

board, the crackling fire and blazing logs the ban-

queting and minstrelsy. Others there are but we

must linger only to beg the student to take a leisure

hour now and again, to enjoy quietly the vague and


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exquisite pictures portrayed in"The Sketch Book."



Crayon,' I know by heart," said Byron.

Sir Walter Scott read it aloud to his family till his

sides were sore with laughter; and then in his quick

appreciation, introduced Irving to his publisher

Murray, and the latter speedily brought it out

"The Sketch Book." It was at once honoured on

both sides the Atlantic and"Geoffrey Crayon


popularised."Bracebridge Hall," a glimpse of

English country life, and"The Traveller," soon fol-


Spain has always possessed allurement for Ameri-

cans; and in 1828, Irving went there to seek facts

for a life

of Columbus and he was fortunate in

finding illuminating documents that had been hidden

away for many centuries. In his"Life of Colum-

bus," he presented the human side of the intrepid dis-

coverer; but Irving could not do all things, and his

historic accuracy has been questioned. His"Con-

quest of Granada," narrates the subjugation of the

last Moors in Spain, by Ferdinand and Isabella.

The romantic assaults and other brilliant achieve-

ments of his knights recall vividly the mediaeval


In those golden months, Irving lived within"The

Alhambra," that wonderful palace where every

mouldering stone held its chronicles. He raved over

the exquisite architecture he drew forth the rich

legends. He revelled in its moonlight enchantment


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when the halls were illumined with soft radiance

the orange and citron trees tipped with silver the

fountains sparkling in the moonbeams and even

the blush of the rose faintly visible; and with

artistic perception, he wove the old tales into "The


a veritable Spanish"Sketch Book,"

instinct with Spanish sights and sounds.

In 1829, Irving returned to London as secretary

of legation; and among the honours conferred upon

him was a medal at Oxford, of the"R. S. L." or

"Royal Society of Literature"; and he received it

amid shouts of"Diedrich Knickerbocker!"


bod Crane!" "

Rip Van Winkle!"

In 1831, after an absence of seventeen years, Irv-

ing returned to his native land and such an ovation

as he received! A public dinner was tendered him

at the City Hotel, in New York, where a little later,

he presided over one given to Dickens. Irving could

never bear to preside, and after presenting Dickens

in the most abrupt way, he terminated with the aside :

"I've told you I should break down and I've done


He was amazed at the growth of New York City

and at the expansion of the country; and under a

commission to the Indian tribes west of the Missis-

sippi, he made an extended trip, embodying his ex-

periences in a"Tour on the Prairies," and the de-

scription of this land known only to the trapper is

interesting reading to-day. To this period, also, be-

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longs"Astoria," arranged at the instance of his

warm friend, Mr. John Jacob Astor, and giving, with

other details, an account of the fur-trading settlement

of the Astors in Oregon.

And he bought"Sunnyside," at Tarrytown, a

little farm on the banks of the Hudson not far from

his loved Sleepy Hollow with a snug and pictur-

esque house"

as full of gables as Peter Stuyvesant's

cocked hat." It was surrounded by ancient weather-

vanes and soon was overrun with ivy from Melrose

Abbey. At the right was Irving's library where he

wrote his last books; at the left the dining-room with

the old mahogany furniture, and from this room be-

yondwas a

lovelyview of the river.

From here, ten years later, Irving was called by

Daniel Webster then Secretary of State under

President Tyler to become Minister to Spain, and

he accepted; but Spain had lost its glamour, and his

heart always yearned for"Sunnyside."

After four years, he went back there to spend his

closing days amid the scenes of his early delight.

Here his sister presided and the house"was well-

stocked with nieces." It was"the best house to

which an old bachelor ever came"

;he had

"but to

walk in, hang up his hat, kiss his nieces, and take

his seat in his elbow-chair for the remainder of his


And in this intellectual"Mecca," he was visited

by Paulding and Willis and Dr. Holmes and Prescott


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and Thackeray and Louis Napoleon and other celeb-



under the sycamore treesand gazed away over the broad Tappan Zee, flecked

with its tiny craft.

Irving was annoyed when he heard that a railroad

might be run along the bank of the Hudson right un-

der his home, and sincerely hoped that the- project

might not be carried out; and he fully believed that if

the Garden of Eden were then in existence, the"pro-

gressive prospectors'

would not hesitate to run a

railroad straight through it; and he heartily wished

as others have done since - - that he might have

been born when the world was finished! But when

all was completed, he yielded gracefully. Of course

he did! for was he not the optimist that once said:


When I cannot get a dinner to suit my taste, I en-

deavour to get a taste to suit my dinner !


At"Sunnyside," Irving wrote his later sketches

one collection entitled"Wolfert's Roost

' - and

in 1849, his "Life of Goldsmith"; and there was

such sympathy between Irving's spirit and that of the

gay, unthinking, struggling poet that the"Life


winsome and lovely. Thackeray styles Irving"The

Goldsmith of our Age."

Irving never forgot that

George Washingtonhad

touched him when a child, and now in old age, he

would touch the life of the great'

Father of his

Country"; and with his"Life of Washington," he

concludes his literary career. His genius not being


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adapted to the minute details and accuracy which such

a record requires, it is not perhaps a historical suc-

cess. But like Columbus, Washington in his hands

becamje as Prescott says :

"Not a cold marble statue of a demi-god, but a being of

flesh and blood like ourselves."

And Irving wrote many other things ; yet we do not

recall this"Story King of the Hudson

"by his nu-

merous works but by the"Knickerbocker His-

tory,""The Sketch Book,"

"The Alhambra," and

"The Life of Goldsmith."

He was a familiar figure in the city of New York

and was asked to become its mayor, and he was the

first president of the Astor Library. More than

once he was offered a position in the President's

Cabinet, but his cherished aim was a life of letters,

and it was thought that he made two hundred thou-

sand dollars with his pen. As he approached his

eightieth year, ill health and much pain came to him,

so that he was forced to lay down his pen but not his

cheerful spirit.

He died on November twenty-eighth, 1859, and

he had that very year completed his"Life of Wash-

ington." His funeral tookplace

at Christ

Church,Tarrytown, which for many years he had served as

vestryman, and a large number from the guild of

letters streamed by the altar to look upon his face;

and at the close of a lovely Indian summer day, he


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was borne by a great concourse of friends to Sleepy

Hollow Cemetery and ever since the elequent trib-

ute of a well-worn path leads to the modest slab that

marks his grave.

Through the courtesy of the present owner, Wash-

ington Irving's grand-nephew, the literary devotee

may to-day visit the library at"Sunnyside," entering

it from the square stone porch. It is a highly inter-

esting little room, and holds Irving's great writing-

table, his chair and portraits as he left them. Here

the walls are lined with bookcases, containing choice

editions, many of them presented by the authors.

The out-doors, too, has memorials of Irving, here

is his river view and the broad meadow, the brook

and the hill; here are the tall trees that he planted,

where the"birds in the fulness of their revelry


"flutter and chirp and frolic."

We visit the site of the old bridge, famed in goblin


and watch the new one now under construction;

and in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, on a green knoll still

shaded by trees, stands the haunted church with its

antique Dutch weather-cocks.

In Christ Church, we find Irving's pew carefully

set apart in the Baptistery, and over it is a mural in-

scription and coat-of-arms with three holly leaves

and it is interesting that he who loved legend could

claim an emblazoned one.

It appears that Irving's Scotch ancestors, the De

Irvines, secreted Robert Bruce when fleeing from his


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enemies. One of them became his cup-bearer and

was hidden with him in a copse of holly; and in mem-

ory of his escape, Bruce adopted three holly leaves

and the motto,"Sub sole, sub umbra, virens." In

return for De Irvine's fidelity, Bruce later conferred

upon him both the badge and Drum Castle and

the Irvings have retained the holly leaves.

Irving did not try for great things."My writ-

ings," he said,"may appear light and trifling in our

country of philosophers and politicians, but if they

possess merit in the class of literature to which they

belong, it is all to which I aspire.""Jonathan Oldstyle

""Diedrich Knickerbocker



Geoffrey Crayon


our beloved WashingtonIrving! Thackeray calls him: "The first Ambassa-

dor of Letters from the New World to the Old."

Lowell says :

"But allow me to speak what I honestly feel,

To a true poet-heart add the fun of Dick Steele,

Throw in all of Addison, minus the chill,

With the whole of that partnership's stock and good will,

Mix well, and while stirring, hum o'er, as a spell,

The fine old English Gentleman simmer it well,

Sweeten just to your own private liking, then strain,

That only the finest and clearest remain,

Let it stand out-of-doors till a soul it receives

From the warm lazy sun loitering down through green


And you'll find a choice nature, not wholly deserving,

A name either English or Yankee, just Irving."


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EACH early writer gaveof his best to


youthful literature: Charles Brockden Brown his

crude, weird novels Irving his storied sketches

and now Cooper is to bring his offering from both

forest and ocean.

He was born in Burlington, New Jersey, on the

fifteenth of September, 1789, and while a mere baby,

his father, Judge Cooper, who owned thousands of

acres of land in Central New York, removed to the

wilderness of Otsego Lake. Here he built"Otsego

Hall," a kind of feudal castle, over which he pre-

sided like the baronial lord of old, parcelling out his

estate to other settlers, and a village was cut out and

named Cooperstown in his honour.

And James, one of a family of twelve children,

passed his boyhood on the edge of the vast, myste-

rious forest which sheltered alike Indian and wild

beast. Fearless, high-spirited, and impressionable,

he learned to love the sounds of woods and water.

He became familiar with wigwam life and the tricks

of the trapper. Fond of adventure, rifle in hand he

would spend whole days with the pioneers, studying


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marriage, they lived in different homes -- the first


"Closet Hall


from its diminutive

size. In the second, a picturesque cottage, Cooper

began his literary career, and this is associated with

the following incident:

One day while reading a stupid English novel

aloud to his wife, he suddenly threw down the book,

declaring that he could writea

betterone! His in-

credulous wife playfully challenged him; he took up

the challenge, and presently produced his'


caution." It was about English society, a subject

of which he was perfectly ignorant- - so it was weak

and dull.

But through doing it, he discovered his own possi-

bilities and a friend encouraged him to try again-

using precaution in selecting a theme with which he

was familiar- - and he tried and succeeded. The

title of this second novel was'

The Spy"; and the

scene was laid in Westchester County where he had

heard many tales of plundered farm and hamlet, of

plot and counterplot and bloody strife in the Revolu-

tionary War.

Cooper was a frequent guest at"Bedford House,"

the home of the Jays; and here one afternoon seated

upon the piazza, he had grown greatly interested

in the story of a grave, sagacious, and nameless pa-

triot, who had served the Jays as a spy during the


He took him for his hero; and for his occupation


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and appearance, he selected a versatile peddler, who,"

staff in hand and pack at back," frequently passed

his door and Harvey Birch, the faithful spy, as

moulded by Cooper, was at once a master-spirit in

fiction; and landmarks associated with Cooper's

homes and with the war-lore of"The Spy

"are to-

day recalled in the neighbourhood of Mamaroneck

and New Rochelle.

And if you would know with what different eyes

Irving and Cooper looked out upon Westchester

County scenes, read"The Legend of Sleepy Hol-

low"and then "The Spy." One spread over the

land the halo of romance the other developed


The Spy'

had wide circulation not only in

America and England, but was translated into for-

eign languages; indeed, it was read even to Persia

and the Holy Land, to Mexico and South America

and Cooper's surprise was unbounded.

After his real entrance upon literary pursuits, he

made his home in New York for three or four years.

It was here that he started the noted"Bread and

Cheese Club"

so called because in electing mem-



was used for an affirmative and"cheese

"for a negative vote.

The deliberations were held in Washington Hall.

Bryant, Halleck, Percival, and other well-known men

belonged. Cooper was a conspicuous figure in


The Den," a celebrated lounging-place for authors


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"The Den

"being a back room in Wiley's book-

store in Wall Street. Cooper always numbered

among his friends the best and most prominent citi-


In his next novel,"The Pioneers," Cooper uses

the wilderness as a background; and here we meet

for the first time the primitive American Hawk

Eye, or Natty Bumppo, a gentle, deliberate and

manly child of Nature whom the Indians call

Leather Stocking. It takes five tales to unfold

his adventurous career, and through these he becomes

one of the celebrated characters of fiction.' A

Drama in Five Acts"Cooper termed them and as we

read on, we grow very fond of this philosopher of

the woods.

We must not take the books in the order in which

Cooper wrote them for he buried and resuscitated

Natty Bumppo, but this must be our sequence;

"The DeerSlayer";

"Last of the Mohicans ";

"Pathfinder"; "Pioneers"; and "Prairie."

And after "The Pioneers," he wrote "The

Pilot." This was the outcome of a dispute about


"Cooper insisting that Scott could

have written a better sea-tale, if he had ever been a

sailor; and he wrote


The Pilot




and in it he caught a graphic portraiture. Long

Tom Coffin, the Nantucket whaler, sturdy, homely

and full of action, we recognise as the gallant Revo-

lutionary hero, John Paul Jones. The action is


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splendid the tale savours of salty tang as had the

forest tales, of spruce and hemlock.

Cooper has sometimes been called


The Ameri-can Scott." It is true that both were story-tellers

but Scott had more humour; he never lingered over

side issues like Cooper, but went slowly and surely

to the heart of his story; Cooper could never make

people talk while Scott indulged in long conversa-

tions;Scott created many prominent characters while

Cooper has but few. But after writing"The

Pilot," the conservative"Edinburgh Review



nounced that the"Empire of the Sea

"had been con-

ceded to Cooper by acclaim.

In 1826, the second "Leather Stocking Tale,"" The Last of the Mohicans," was published. Some

consider this Cooper's masterpiece. Chingach-

gook and his son Uncas are manly, noble Indians;

they are true to life as far as they go, but they

are not representative Indians but Cooper had a

right, if he chose, to leave out the uglier types of

the race.

In the same year, 1826, Cooper went abroad and

remained seven years; and in Europe he wrote"The

Prairie" his most poetic of the "Leather Stock-


series"The Red Rover," and other fine

sea-tales. And it was wonderful how his swift pop-

ularity amazed the world ! for his books were at once

published on both sides of the Atlantic - - not only

in English but in many languages: among others,


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French and German and Norwegian and Russian

and Arabic and Persian. It is said that of all other

American authors, only Mrs. Stowe with her"Uncle

Tom's Cabin"reached such celebrity.

In 1833, Morse, the inventor of the telegraph,

writes :


every city


Europethat I

visited,the works of

Cooper were conspicuously placed in the windows of every

book-shop. They are published as soon as he produces them

in thirty-four different places. They have been seen by

American travellers in the language of Turkey and Persia,

in Constantinople, in Egypt, at Jerusalem, at Ispahan.

England is reading Irving Europe is reading Cooper."

It was the novelty of his subject that held all cap-

tive, and for a time he had the field to himself; and

it is disappointing to approach another side of

Cooper's character which embittered his closing

years, and rendered his later works unpopular.

This was his controversial spirit. Of a forcible, im-

petuous disposition, full of prejudice, he could never

brook a hostile criticism.

A fearless fighter, there was to him no neutral

ground. Every critical speech about our young Re-

public he attacked in word and writing, and on his

return " lectured his countrymen gratis"

;for he

liked not their manners, their love of gain, and fond-

ness for boasting and admiration. So in his books

he strayed away from the path of the story-teller to


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interpreted for us the spirit of the wilder-

ness; or again Turner-like, Cooper has ventured far

out over the stormy wave, where amid clang of the

tempest, the man-of-war grapples with the whistling

hulk of the enemy; and later writers have learned

from him to spin sea-yarns.

No: let the critics wage their war. Harvey

Birch, Leather Stocking and Chingachgook and

Uncas and Long Tom Coffin will live on and on in

their wonderful world of action.

We must read Cooper in a leisure mood and we

must continue reading. Julian Hawthorne wisely

remarks: "We proceed majestically from one stir-

ring event to another, and though we never move

faster than a contemplative walk, we know like the

man on the way to the scaffold that nothing can hap-

pen till we get there !


Though the settings of the novels are in rough




and patriotic books to give

into the hands of youth and maiden. Every boy is

himself a story-teller and an adventurer; and as gen-

erations of boys have pored over Cooper's romantic

dramas, they have given them most uncritical popu-


On Cooper's return from Europe, he mounted a

house in Bleecker Street, New York City, with French

furniture and French servants; but he finally went

back to his ancestral home at Cooperstown for the

rest of his life. It was a house of generous dimen-


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sions, set among stately elms and maples, and of a

beautiful hospitality; and in the gathering twilight,

he would pace up and down the great hall, pondering

over chapters from his books for his pen was

never idle.

On his death-bed he begged his family not to aid

in any preparation of his life --for he wished the

controversies forgotten. He died on the fourteenth

of September, 1851, and was buried in the neigh-

bouring churchyard.

Afterwards the homestead was burned; and the

materials and furniture rescued from the ruins were

used in the picturesque cottage of his gifted daugh-

terSusan. A bronze statue of the



Hunter," by J. Q. A. Ward - - a facsimile of the one

in Central Park now stands on the site of"Otsego


But Cooper seems yet to permeate the village,

beautiful for situation. Whether we float upon its

lake in its emerald setting, or tread the woodsy way

everywhere we find reminders of his genius; for

street and inn and boat and brook and falls bear the

name of some book or character evolved by him;

and upon a sculptured shaft overlooking Otsego

Lake, the rugged figure of LeatherStocking ap-

pears- - an emblem of fearless energy.

Five months after Cooper's death, a commemora-

tive meeting was held in New York. Daniel Web-

ster the representative statesman of the day pre-

81-713 99

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sided, and in his address suggested that Cooper's

works, so truly patriotic and American, should find a

place in every American library. Bryant, as very

often on such occasions, was orator, and after speak-

ing of Cooper's life and books, he said:

"Such are the works so widely read, and so universally

admiredin all

zonesof the


bymen of


dred and every tongue; books which have made those who

dwell in remote latitudes, wanderers in our forests and

observers of our manners, and have inspired them all with

an interest in our history."


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POETRY is a divine gift and true poets see visions;

and we may enter into special intimacy with these

seers and prophets as their varied inspirations suit

our varied moods. Thus far our tale has been most

prosaic but now the poetic dawn is breaking

as with Irving,"Story King of the Hudson," and

Cooper,"Novelist of Forest and Ocean," we asso-

ciate William Cullen Bryant,"Father of American


The parents both traced their ancestry from May-

flower Pilgrims the mother directly from John

Alden and William Cullen, one of a family of

seven children, was born at Cummington, Massachu-

setts, November third, 1794. Some think that hewas not an unusual child, but he knew his letters

before he was two and at five could repeat Watts's


In the old Puritan home, children brought up in

the fear of God were expected to study the Bible,

and he was so familiar with his own, that at nine

he had turned the first chapter of Job into classical

couplets. He caught his early, stately forms of ex-

pression from the prayers that he heard in church


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and at family worship. Poetic little Puritan that he

was, he used one daring variation in his own inter-

cessions"that he might receive the gift of genius

and write verses that should endure."

The scholarly father was a country physician, and

looked carefully after his puny boy's education.

The mother did all the work for her family; she

cooked and washed and ironed and spun, and one

day "made for Cullen a coat!'

In the "St. Nicholas" of December, 1876, Bry-

ant tells delightfully the story of his boyhood; and in

it he emphasises the awe in which boys in that day

held parents and all elderly persons, observing in

their presence a hushed and subdued demeanour, this

being specially marked towards ministers of the


Bryant's early education consisted in attendance at

a district-school, and being tutored by two clergymen.

Devoted to classical study, he in time became a fine'

linguist. He belonged to a family addicted to

rhyming, and his own talent early blossomed into

verse. At ten, short poems appeared in the news-

paper. His knowledge of metre was caught from

Pope's translation of "The Iliad"; and he told his

friend Dana, years later, that when a copy of Words-

worth's"Lyrical Ballads


fell into his hands,"a

thousand springs seemed to gush up at once in his

heart and the face of Nature of a sudden changed

into a strange freshness and life." Indeed, no other


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American poet has equalled Bryant in boyhood


We hear little of his youthful sports, but we do

know that whenever he could"

steal an hour from

study and care," he would wander in the woods; and

he became the first laureate of the sky and forest and

birds and brooks and meadows and granite hills of

Western Massachusetts. Nearly every poem con-

tains a bit of scenery.

Even as a youth, the mysteries of life puzzled him,

and he tried by communing with Nature to learn her

secrets; and it was this tendency to brood over life

as a preparation for death that led to his'


topsis," or


Glimpse of Death." This poem repre-

sents a lofty religious philosophy, redolent of Puri-

tan faith a striking conception of time and eternity"a kind of requiem of the universe."

It was five or six years after he wrote it that his

father found it with another poem in a drawer, and

in his paternal pride, unknown to his son, he started

literally post-haste to Boston one hundred miles dis-

tant to offer it to the publishers of"The North Amer-

ican Review"

;and as Phillips, one of the editors,

read it aloud to the others, one of them exclaimed:

"Ah, Phillips, you have been imposed upon-

- no

one on this side of the Atlantic could write such


But with"Thanatopsis

"true poetry had

come to America. It was the soul utterance of a

youth of seventeen the most famous thing written


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by one of that age in our land and it is read to-

day with reverent earnestness.

Bryant was in Williams College for less than a

year and then was honourably dismissed. He would

have entered Yale, but Dr. Bryant was unable to pay

tuition bills; so regretfully his son took up the study

of law, and worked very hard in order to support

himself as soon as possible, and in 1815, he was ad-

mitted to the bar. It was while practising in Great

Barrington that he fell in love with Fanny Fairchild,

"Fairest of the rural maids!

"and married her.

Shortly after his marriage, a paper-covered book

of forty-four pages, containing eight of Bryant's

poems, was issued by the Cambridge Press. Amongthese was the one

" To a Waterfowl," embodying

its lesson of faith, andaThe Yellow Violet," one of

the earliest tributes to an American flower; for Bry-

ant was one of the first to announce in poetic way

that the flowers and birds of America are unlike

those of England.

The little volume included, also,"The Entrance

to a Wood," conveying the promise of calm to him

who lingers in its quiet haunts; "The Ages," read

before Harvard College; and"Thanatopsis."

This book madehim

again prominent;but at the

end of five years, he had realised from its sale but

fourteen dollars and ninety-two cents. It is now

most valuable as our first publication of creative

poetry, and General James Grant Wilson tells us


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In regard to his friendships, it is a rare delight

to listen to the reminiscences of General Wilson-

himself a man of great literary charm who

enjoyed more or less intimacy with many of the


Old Guard'

of American authors, and also the

eminent and gifted in other lands. Among his rec-

ollections of Bryant is a story which the latter told

him of his first coming to New York. Shortly after

his arrival, he met Cooper, to whom he had been

previously introduced; and Cooper invited him to

dinner to meet Halleck adding,"

I live at 345

Greenwich Street.""Please put that down," said

Bryant,"or I shall forget the place."

"Can't you


3 4 5'



Cooper replied bluntly.

Bryant did remember and for all the future, and the

friendship made that day with Cooper and Halleck

was severed only by death. To Halleck he was al-

ways devoted.

Among his other friends were Irving, Dana,

Drake, Verplanck, and Willis. He had pleasure in

Whitman but could not understand his poetry.

Wordsworth was his English inspiration and Rogers's'


his special delight.

Hawthorne thus describes Bryant's appear-

ance when he met him in Rome: "Hepresented

himself with a long white beard such as a palmer

might have worn on the growth of a long pil-

grimage." In all his friendships, there was a kind

of Puritan veneer that never wore oft; a quiet


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reserve and dignity seemed always to belong to


Bryant had several homes in New York - - the

last at Twenty-four West Sixteenth Street, where he

lived for twenty-four years but a ruralist at heart,

country life attracted him most. He bought the old

homestead at Cummington, among the hills that he

loved, and he returned to it year by year; and in order

to be nearer New York City, he purchased, in 1843,

an estate at Roslyn, Long Island, and for thirty-five


"was his home.

The house stands in charming grounds, overlook-

ing a lovely lake: the library with two bay-windows,

affording a view of woods and water with ample

bookcases, and fireplace set round with old Dutch

tiles. This room was Bryant's castle! No journal-

ist work was allowed to enter, for it was here that

he donned his singing-robes.

After his death, the homestead remained in the

family, and several years ago, it was nearly destroyed

by fire; but appreciative hands restored what was left

of his household goods, and they are to-day in the

present mansion.

It was at"Cedarmere," after the death of his

wife, in 1865, and when he was over seventy, that

Bryant made his monumental translation of The

Iliad" and "The Odyssey"; and he did this in a

Homeric spirit for he seemed to understand blank

verse and"the rush of Epic song." He shows,


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also, true fidelity to the text, and many rank this the

best metrical version of Homer in the language;

and like Pope, he made it on the back of old papers

and letters.

And now to return to the creative works of our

"out-of-door lover." He was reticent in verse, for

although he lived to a good old age, all his poems

are contained in one volume but thefinest

belongto his younger days. All are short for to him a

long poem was as impossible as a continued ecstasy.

He revelled in solitude, and said that when he

entered the forest, power seemed to come unbidden.

His"Forest Hymn," was breathed in the depths of

the shady wood, amid the brotherhood of venerable

trees and while we"meditate in these calm

shades," we think only of his minor key; yet again

his"Robert of Lincoln


"Merrily swinging on briar and weed,"

singing"Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink."

Sometimes Bryant voices the spirit of freedom;

his note is decided but more restrained than Whit-

tier's. We find it in his"

Song of Marion's Men ";

and in her hour of need, he sounds forth'


Country's Call"; and from him comes the famous

quatrain of "The Battle-Field":


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Herbe-t Adams. Sc.


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Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again,

The eternal years of God are hers;

But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,

And dies among her worshippers."

Then there is the bloom of summer in his verse;



The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year ";

and yet again, the frosts of winter, with his unusual"Little People of the Snow


" A joyous multitude,


Whirled in a merry dance to silvery sounds,

That rang from cymbals of transparent ice,

And ice-cups, quivering to the skilful touch

Of little fingers."

Some have called Bryant"The American Words-

worth." He, too, dwelt by a lake and he caught

a Wordsworthian inspiration. But Bryant appeals

more to the intellect, while Wordsworth dwells in the

heart of man.

Bryant, with his deep-set eye, patriarchal beard

diminutive, erect and buoyant was a striking

personality in Broadway going to and from the

office of"The Post." He was for

many yearsthe

honoured President of"The Century Club," and so

its representative citizen, presenting to it many illus-

trious visitors from abroad. He was keenly inter-

ested in civic affairs and often presided as orator on


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commemorative occasions, as on the death of Cooper,

Halleck, and Irving.

He gained wealth as others may gain it by the

thrift inculcated in"Poor Richard's Almanac."

On his eightieth birthday, thousands of congratula-

tory letters came to him from all over the land, and

a loving-cup was presented him which may now be

seen in the Metropolitan Museum.

For this Nestor of counsel this patriotic

journalist and poet- - serene and philosophic

worked on,"Without haste, without rest," giving

quietly and strongly of his best to the world; and

yet this singer of"an unfaltering trust



constantly in his life to exemplify those lines from his

"Waiting by the Gate


"And in the sunshine streaming on quiet wood and lea,

I stand and calmly wait till the hinges turn for me."

Bryant expressed grateful appreciation for the

artistic impulse which the Italians had given to NewYork, in presenting so many statues of their re-

nowned men;and he had profound sympathy for the

life and work of the Revolutionist and statesman,

Mazzini;--he who has been called "the brain,"

in connection with Garibaldi,"the sword," Cavour,


the genius," and Victor Emmanuel, " the banner "

- of"Italy free


Mazzini's bust was to be unveiled in Central Park

and Bryant was invited to give the oration. It was


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a warm June day, and he stood with bared head.


was scholarly and looking upinto Maz-

zini's face, he closed with these words :

"Image of the illustrious champion of civil and religious

liberty, cast in enduring bronze to typify the imperishable

renown of the original ! Remain for ages yet to come where

we place thee, in this resort of millions; remain till the day

shall dawn. . .

when the rights and duties of humanbrotherhood shall be acknowledged by all the races of man-


These were the last public words he was to speak;

for at the close of the ceremonies, he was stricken by

the heat of the sun and died, just a few days later,

on the twelfth of June, 1878. The simple funeral

took place at Roslyn, and village children dropped

flowers into the grave.

In 1883, "The Century Company," influenced by

Hon. John Bigelow, appointed a committee to per-

petuatethe name of The Father of American

Poetry," and two honours have been accorded him.

The first of these was when"Reservoir Square


came"Bryant Park"; then after the completion of

the New York Public Library, there was placed on

the esplanade, at the back of the palatial building, a

statue of Bryant made by the sculptor, Herbert


Like that of Mazzini, it is cast in enduring bronze.

The hand holds a manuscript, suggestive of literary

work. The poet gazes over his Park towards Irv-


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ing, who, at the other end, is taking a view of his

modern Knickerbocker city. The statue was un-

veiled by Miss Frances Bryant Godwin, a great-

granddaughter of the poet. Mr. Bigelow was not

able to be present; and it was most fitting that in his

stead our optimistic philosopher and Nature-inter-

preter, Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke, should deliver

the address.

The base bears the following selection from one of

Bryant's later poems and how truly it characterises

his stateliness of expression:


Yet let no empty gust

Of passionate feeling find utterance in thy lay,

A blast that whirls the dust

Along the howling street and dies away:

Best feelings of calm and mighty sweep

Like currents journeying through the windless deep."



Thou blossom, bright with autumn dew,

And coloured with the heaven's own blue,

That openest when the quiet light

Succeeds the keen and frosty night;

Thou comest not when violets lean

O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen,

Or columbines, in purple dressed,

Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

Thou waitest late, and com'st alone,

When woods are bare and birds are flown,


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And frosts and shortening days portend

The aged year is near his end.

Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye

Look through its fringes to the sky,

Blue blue as if that sky let fall

A flower from its cerulean wall.

I would that thus, when I shall see

The hour of death draw near to me,

Hope, blossoming within my heart,

May look to heaven as I depart."



" Whither midst falling dew,

While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,

Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue

Thy solitary way?

There is a Power whose care

Teachesthy way along

that pathless coast,

The desert and illimitable air,

Lone wandering, but not lost.

...Thou'rt gone! the abyss of heaven

Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart

Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,

And shall not soon depart:

He, who, from zone to zone,

Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,

In the lone way that I must tread alone,

Will lead my steps aright." Bryant.


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SOME of our earlier writers live to-day in one or

two poems or songs, and in the following chapter wehave strung together just a few of these inspiring


The first we seek in the"Knickerbocker Group,"

that fashionable coterie of young men, who, with

Irving as their centre, were all aspirants for literary

fame. Among them were Paulding, Willis, Dana,

Drake and Halleck, and it is from Drake and Hal-

leek that we gather our memorials. Their first meet-

ing was on this wise: They were standing on the

Battery, New York, admiring a rainbow that

spanned the heavens, and a mutual friend introduced


Halleck, who was a great admirer of Campbell re-


It would be heaven to ride on that rain-

bow and read Campbell." Drake liked the words,

clasped his hand, and a"David and Jonathan



was formedonly

to be severed



early death.

They called themselves"Croakers," and their



gave a pleasant picture of New York

society in the first part of the nineteenth century


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for they literally found"fun in everything."

"Croaker and Co." wrote

"The American Flag


Drake all but the last four lines.

Drake's reputation, however, rests on his'


prit Fay," which grew out of a discussion with

Cooper and Halleck they insisting that a fairy

touch could not be given to our American rivers. In

three days Drake proved his point by his exquisite

poem its scene laid on the banks of the Hudson,

the legendary abode of"Rip Van Winkle."

In this a fay has committed the crime of falling

in love with a mortal, and part of his punishment is

to light his lamp by the first spark of a shooting-star;

and Drake's theme is saturated with fairy lore as

we may feel in reading these lines :


The winds are whist, and the owl is still ;

The bat in the shelvy rock is hid;

And naught is heard on the lonely hill

But the cricket's chirp, and the answer shrill

Of the gauze-winged katydid ;

And the plaint of the wailing whip-poor-will,

Who moans unseen, and ceaseless sings,

Ever a note of wail and woe,

Till morning spreads her rosy wings,

And earth and sky in her glances glow."

Youthful, brilliant Drake our"American


was a born lyrist. He died at twenty-five

and Halleck wrote in his memory:-


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"Green be the turf above thee,

Friend of my better days!

None knew thee but to love thee,

None named thee but to praise."

And Halleck lived on. He, too, had a spark of

genius yet he sang very little but edited books of

other authors. He was a great favourite, and came

so prominently in touch with other literary men, find-

ing such an affectionate biographer in General Wilson

that we are all familiar with his name. He was

long an accountant for John Jacob Astor in New

York, and on his death, the multi-millionaire left him

a small estate; and so"passing rich on forty pounds

a year," he returned to his old home, Guilford, Con-

necticut, where he cultivated his exquisite love for


On the eightieth anniversary of his birth, in 1877,

his friends unveiled to him a bronze statue in Central

Park, New York the first one there dedicated to

an American poet; and on this occasion Whittier

paid to his friend this just encomium:

"In common ways with common men,

He served his race and time,

As well as if his clerkly pen

Had never danced to rhyme."

Halleck's chief title to poetic fame rests on

"Marco Bozzaris." Its subject is a Greek leader


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who fell, in 1823, in the war against Turkey for

Greek independence. Americans at that time wereinterested not only in the struggle of brave little

Greece, but in our own recently achieved liberty; and

how many boys from that day to this have emphasised

the words :


Strike till the last armed foe expires;

Strike for your altars and your fires;

Strike for the green graves of our sires;

God and your native land !


Certainly Drake's ode"The American Flag


and his"Culprit Fay

"and Halleck's



are three of the immortal poems"that

were not born to die !


And our flag has been the theme of yet nobler

song; and the dilapidated"Key Mansion


is still

preserved in Georgetown, D. C, as the home of the

author of our


Star-Spangled Banner." It was in

1814, during the British bombardment of Fort Mc-

Henry that Francis Scott Key started out one morn-

ing to attempt to secure the release of a friend, im-

prisoned on one of the British ships. A truce boat

was placed at his disposal, and on his arrival at the

scene of war, Admiral Cockburn promised that a few

hours later his friend should be free, but that in the

meantime, he, too, must be detained; for the Admiral

was just then preparing to attack the fort and could

not allow its defenders to be warned.


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The strain upon Key and his friend was tremen-

dous the fort being subjected to attack by both

land and water and Baltimore was surely doomed!

All night long they paced the deck, mid"the rocket's

red glare'

and"bombs bursting in air." What

was their thrill of joy,"by the dawn's early light,"

in looking towards the fort to discover "that our

flag was still there " !

And Key took from his pocket a bit of paper and

then and there wrote the first stanza of"The Star-

Spangled Banner." The writer soon withdrew and

it did not take long to complete the poem. It was set

to an old English drinking-song,"Anacreon in

Heaven"; it was struck off in handbills, caught up

from camp to camp, and became a precious memento

to the soldier of the War of 1812.

And does it still live? Listen every afternoon at

sunset when the United States flag is lowered, from

fort or flagship, and you shall hear its strains, sym-

bolic always of"the land of the free, and the home

of the brave"

! If you would see Francis Scott

Key's best monument, visit his tomb at Frederick,

Maryland, for the lay ordains that for ever over it


the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave."

Onthe hill




Key Mansion


Oak Knoll Cemetery, the resting-place of John How-

ard Payne, the author of"Home, Sweet Home."

He was a successful actor and playwright, courted

by Irving and other literary men for his intellectual


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gifts; and his finest tragedy "Brutus," Keene and

Forest and Booth have all tried toimmortalise;


his more studied works are now comparatively for-

gotten, while just one lovely lyric enshrines him in

the popular heart.

Payne was born in New York City, but it was his

childhood's home at picturesque East Hampton,

Long Island, that gives origin to the poem. It was

written abroad for his opera"

Clari, the Maid of


; Henry Rowley Bishop added the music,

and it was sung first, in 1823, at the Covent Garden

Theatre, London. The words and music taken to-

gether make the appeal in this homesick poem.

About the time that Payne wrote the words his

friends in America were receiving letters from him

expressing his longing for home. He once said:-


The world has literally sung my song until every heart

is familiar with its melody, and yet I have been a wanderer

since my boyhood."

Far from country and friends, he was finally con-

sul in Tunis, where he died in 1852. Years later,

the Hon. William W. Corcoran, the Washington

philanthropist, who, as a boy, had seen Payne act, de-

termined to have his remains brought from Africa

and interred in his home-land. They were met in

Washington by a military escort, and accompanied

by the President and his staff to the cemetery to the

music of"Home, Sweet Home."


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Another song appeared, in 1832, that gained re-

nown for its writer, Dr. Smith, a Baptist clergyman.This is

"My Country, 'tis of thee." It was used

for the first time in Boston, at a children's"Fourth

of July'

festival. Dr. Smith was a classmate at

Harvard of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and our remi-

niscent poet at a class re-union thus summarises his

friend's title to fame:

"And there's a nice youngster of excellent pith,

Yale tried to conceal him by naming him Smith;

But he chanted a song for the brave and the free,

Just read on his medal'

My Country of thee !


And there is another song which set to a German

melody has been sung - - with its passion and pathos

all over the English-speaking world. Who does

not know"Ben Bolt "? It was written in 1843, by

Thomas Dunn English, a physician of Fort Lee,

New Jersey.

N. P. Willis, editor of"The New York Mirror,"

a paper run on a very small capital, had asked Dr.

English to contribute a sea-poem, and he sat down

to write; but he drifted away from sea-thoughts into

memories of his boyhood:"Sweet Alice



old mill," "the log-cabin" and "the school" in-

truded themselves into the

poemand he was near-

ing the end when he remembered Willis's request.

So to fulfil his promise, in the very last line he

apostrophises:"Ben Bolt of the salt-sea gale!


Dr. English never made a penny out of the famous


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poem, and he sometimes almost resented its wide


comparedwith that awarded to his

more carefully prepared works.

And just one Southern folk-song we must add to

our list. This is"Dixie," composed by Daniel De-

catur Emrnett, or"Dan

"Emmett, as he is usually

called. A poor boy, he picked up enough education

to be compositor in a printing-office; then he joined

the army as a fifer, and later the circus, and in 1843,

he organised in New York the"Virginia Minstrels,"

minstrelsy being at that time a novel form of enter-

tainment, and Dan used to declare that when he

blackened his face and donned his kinky white wig,

he made the best old negro that ever lived.

Later as a member of the"Bryant Troupe," he

was stage performer and wrote songs. He was

specially successful in"walk-arounds




being a genuine bit of plantation life that

alwaysends a show.

OnaSeptember day,


1859,Bryant told Emmett that a new



needed, and that he would give him two days in

which to write it. That night he tried with his

fiddle but neither words nor tune would come !

His wife encouraged him, promising to be his audi-

ence the moment it was finished.

The next day was bleak and dismal in New York.

Emmett recalled his life as a circus performer, and

how he enjoyed travelling over the"Sunny South ";

and how when they were at the North, the members


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of the troupe would often say,"

I wish I was in



Then burst a sudden idea this was the

line for him ! He took his fiddle, and very soon

words and tune had sung themselves into a jovial

plantation melody.

The next evening"Away down South in Dixie !


was received with great applause, and its author

was paid for it five hundred dollars. Soon it was

heard from one end of the land to the other, and in

1 86 1, it was flashed over the whole South as the Civil

War lyric that led the soldiers to battle.

On the outskirts of Mount Vernon, Ohio, old Dan

Emmett spent the last days of his life. In a tiny

house, with a little garden-patch, he earned his living

principally by raising chickens. A kindly old man,

he often might be seen sitting in the sun, reading his

Bible. After his death, several interesting manu-

scripts were found: one entitled"Emmett's

Standard Drummer"

;another a grace, in which he

thanks the Lord "for this frugal meal and all other

meals Thou hast permitted me to enjoy during my

past existence."

It has been said that when eighty years of age, he

"had a taste of what it is to be famous," and many

an ovation was tendered him at the South. So it is

hoped that this contented old minstrel was always

happy in the thought that over the wide earth,

tribute was constantly paid to his"walk-around




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We have wandered far afield even from fairy-

land tofolk-song

and our excuse forlinking


genius of a Drake and Halleck with patriotic airs and

the song of Dan Emmett is, that all have presented

to our literature some of its single, striking inspira-



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WHITTIER-LAND nestles in the valley of the Merri-

mac, from the granite hills, to where


the lowerriver

"seeks the ocean at Newburyport; and on


broad, smooth current," Haverhill

"overlooks on either hand

A rich and many watered land."

Three miles beyond this hill-city, a little back

from the highway, stands the primitive Whittier

homestead, hardly altered from the olden day. In

it is shown the room where, on December seven-

teenth, 1807, the"Quaker-Poet

"first saw the light.

The mother's bedroom remains with linen and

blankets woven by her own hand.

The great fireplace in the kitchen is almost as

large as a modern kitchenette. In this swings"the

crane and pendent trammels," and never has New

England kitchen been so hallowed by poetic touch.

For it was in this"

old, rude-furnished

room,"many years after Whittier had left his early home,

that he stretched"The hands of memory forth


and gathered the household; and as the firelight

illumined their faces, he threw upon the screen the


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picture of the family group, and this he presented to

the worldin


Snow-Bound,"aperfect poem


NewEngland winter life.

Let us glance at the picture. Here is the father,

"Prompt, decisive man"; the mother rehearsing

'The story of her early days;"

Aunt Mercy


The sweetest woman ever Fate

Perverse denied a household mate"


and story-telling Uncle Moses, who though

". . . Innocent of books,

Was rich in lore of field and brooks."

And among the other faces is that of the older sister

who has learned"The secret of self-sacrifice


of the"youngest


"dearest," who

". . . let her heart

Against the household bosom lean."

The picture is as realistic in word as the Dutch artist

could have painted it with his brush and it has

transformed the Haverhill kitchen into a pilgrim'sshrine.

Lingering outside the homestead, many poems are

recalled. Here was laid the scene of"Telling the

Bees "; the bridle-post; the well with its long sweep;


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the brook; the stone-wall upon which once sat a


Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan !


Near by is

the meadow where Maud Muller met the judge; a

short distance up a narrow road stands the cottage

where Lydia Ayer, the heroine of"In School-days,"

lived her brief life of seventeen years. Here are

treasured her school-books, and each is inscribed in

tiny, faded writing: "Lydia Ayer her book."

Across the road, beyond the Whittier elm, a tablet

marks the site of"the school-house by the road,"


"Around it still the sumachs grow,

And blackberry-vines are running."

Local tradition has it that John and Lydia always

walked to school together; and we do know that

forty years later, John tenderly remembered the


sweet child-face"

of the little maiden who hated

" to go above " him.

The literary elements associated with Whittier's

childhood home, apart from the district-school, were

very few. There were the Bible and"Pilgrim's

Progress," and some other saintly books, and the

Quaker-meeting. But something interesting hap-

pened when the lad was fourteen - - the kind of

thing that often happens to a youthful genius and

changes the whole current of life a copy of Burns's

poems fell into his hands. He read and re-read un-


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til the"Ayrshire Ploughman," who could weave a

poem from a


tiny field mousie," or a


Wee modest

crimson-tipped flower," had cast, by the magic of his

lyric song, a spell over the rugged farmer lad

for he even sung into his heart the art of transfigur-

ing daily life.

And as the boy worked on, and carried his lessons

and scribbled away, a new spirit was in him and

his own song burst forth and the early twitter was

pleasant to hear on the dreary New England coast;

and the song grew louder and more insistent, for he

kept on singing for sixty years, and sometimes he

has even been honouredby

being called"The Burns

of New England."

And when he was seventeen, another thing hap-

pened. One day when he was helping his father

mend the fence, the postman as he rode past tossed

over the newspaper. Whittier opened it and dis-

covered one of his own poems in print. He stared

again and again at the lines, but for joy and surprise

could not read a word. The practical father, seeing

him idle, told him to put up the paper and go on with

his work.

His sister, it appears, had been his first literary

agent, and unknown to him, had sent the manuscript

to William Lloyd Garrison, editor of"The New-

buryport Free Press." We linger over these hap-

penings because they were big with import.

A little later, Mr. Garrison, having received more


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of the youthful poet's rhymes, visited the farm and

urged Mr. Whittier to give his son an education;

buf all he could do was to allow him a few terms

at the Haverhill Academy, and the youth had to teach

and keep accounts, and make slippers for eight cents

a pair, to pay his tuition.

Mr. Garrison,"The Lion-hearted Champion of

Freedom," next interested his young friend in the

anti-slavery question that for many years before the

Civil War agitated the country; and the poet of

"brotherly love


was born with such a spirit of

"brotherly rights

"that he threw himself, heart and

soul, into the conflict.

It was in 1833, tnat ^e openly consecrated himself

to the cause to which he gave the best years of his

life. In these times of turmoil, he drifted into

journalism in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, and

Washington. He became secretary and journalist

for the


Anti-Slavery Society," in Philadelphia.His office was sacked and burned, and here and in

other cities, he was several times hounded and


It mattered not to him ! His"Voices of Free-


rang out like trumpet-calls ! His finest de-

nunciation was"Ichabod." This was an impress-

ive lament over the fallen greatness of Daniel Web-

ster, for his attempted compromise with the South,

in regard to slavery. But thirty years afterwards,

Whittier may have repented his impetuous words;


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for in his"Lost Occasion," he represents Webster


tryingto save the Union without a


he mourns the too early death of one

' Whom the rich heavens did so endow

With eyes of power and Jove's own brow."

Lowell, who was with Whittier in sentiment, could

not refrain from referring to him in his"Fable for




Preaching brotherly love and then driving it in

To the brain of the rough old Goliath of sin."

But Lowell said, also, another thing of Whittier that


Whenever occasion offered, some burning lyric of his

flew across the country like the fiery cross to warn and


Whittier, however, lost friends and literary in-

fluence through his"Voices of Freedom "; and yet

he said:

"I set a higher value on my name as appended to the

Anti-Slavery Declaration of 1833 than on the title-page of

my works."

And the martial Quaker worked on with lyre and

pen until that day when in the meeting-house he


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Hi t






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followed. This is a story-book, in form like Long-


Talesof a


";and to


fully we must pitch our tent on Salisbury Beach,"be-

side the waves, where the sea winds blow," and where


The mighty deep expands

From its white line of gleaming sands."

Open Whittier's poems anywhere, one is attracted

by verse or legend or ballad, and it is difficult to sug-

gest how best to read into his works. He always

tells a story easily so that the plot is never strained.

Ever in sympathy with the sons of toil, there are

homely songs of labour, appealing to the lumberman

or fisherman or shoemaker.

How he revels in an autumn scene as in The

Pumpkin' '



On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth

Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,


What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?

What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin-pie?'

Ofhis Indian


aboriginal story,



Bridal of Pennacook"

its scene laid on the banks

of the classic Merrimac is perhaps the finest.

In his portrayal of colonial life, a most striking

poem is"Skipper Ireson's Ride ":


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The strangest ride that ever was sped

Was Ireson's,out of


Old Floyd Ireson for his hard heart,

Tarred and feathered and carried on a cart

By the women of Marblehead."

A pleasing contrast is found in"Amy Wentworth,"

or"The Countess," or in the Christian


of Parson Avery." The Quaker maiden, Cassandra

Southwick, the witch's daughter, Mabel Martin, and

Barbara Freitchie with her lesson of defiant pat-

riotism already voiced by generations of New Eng-

land school-children - - are all familiar pictures.

Many regard


The Pipes at Lucknow


as Whit-tier's lyrical masterpiece. His religious creed often

finds beautiful expression, specially in that stanza in

"The Eternal Goodness," where he writes:

"I know not where His islands lift

Their fronded palms in air;

I only know I cannot drift

Beyond His love and care."

Whittier's prose does not equal his poetry con-

sisting mostly of letters, criticisms, and editorials.

His only extensive work was



Journal." This is a quaint description of her visit

to New England, in 1678. She embodies this in

letters which she sends to her betrothed in England.

The whole is a realistic account of the old Puritan


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age. Whittier was an admirer of the saintly old

Quaker, John Woolman, and he was happy in edit-

ing his"Journal."

Whittier once said:"

I never had any methods.

When I felt like it, I wrote. I had neither health

nor patience to work over it afterwards." He had

his faults; he often wrote too diffusely, unequally,

and carelessly, and there are many lines and stanzas

that might better have been omitted; but even if he

wrote very much, many lines will live always.

He was the"Poet of New England

"its sights

and sounds and loves and hopes but his verse was

almost too local to be appreciated abroad. Richard-

son calls him :


The laureate of the ocean beach, the inland lake, the

little wood-flower, and the divine sky";

and Holmes says:

"Our stern New England hills and vales and streams,

Thy tuneful idyls make them all thine own."

Whittier came of sturdy New England stock but

he was never very robust, and his later years were

passed quietly in his Amesbury home, and in long

visits to friends and several households to-day

recall with pleasure their honoured guest. His

neighbours were devoted to him, because as one said:

" He talks just like common folks." He never


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entered a theatre but was a regular attendant at

Quaker-meeting, conforming his garb and mannerto Quaker simplicity.

" A shy, peace-loving man,"

he called himself.

For literary companionship, he sometimes sought

Mrs. Field's parlour gatherings in Boston, and be-

longed to literary clubs with other New England

poets. His old age was enriched by many friend-

ships. Among those with whom he came in touch

were Longfellow, Lowell, Emerson, Bryant, Bayard

Taylor, Curtis, Mrs. Stowe, Mrs. Spofford, and

Garibaldi. To some of these he wrote personal

poems, and they, if they were able, returned the com-


It was while Whittier was sojourning with friends

at Oak Knolls, that he died, on the seventh of Sep-

tember, 1892. His last words typical of his

creed- -were: "My love to the world." A great


gatheredin the

sunnyorchard back of the

Amesbury house to attend the funeral service: even

boys were seated on the fence and in the apple-trees.

Edmund Clarence Stedman paid a glowing tribute

to the Quaker bard. He was laid in the burying-

ground on the hillside; and on his tombstone is

engraved just his name and the words fromOliver Wendell Holmes: "Here Whittier lies."

There are two ways, in which one may become

familiar with the personality of this loved poet. One

is to read his life as written by himself in his various


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The house is a place in which one cannot fail to

be reminiscent, forhall

and parlour and garden-roomare full of associations. Here Whittier received

many men and women famed in letters. Here is

the mother's picture; the desk upon which "Snow-

Bound' was written; an album presented to the

poet on his eightieth birthday, containing signatures

of all the members of Congress and many other

notable men. There are engravings and books and

chair and lounge that he enjoyed even coat and

hat and boots - - and as we look and listen all

seem but one living monument inscribed with Whit-

tier's name.

Whittier was perhaps not a great man, but who

would not be satisfied with such a

"Lifelong record closed without a stain

A blameless memory shrined in deathless song."


"Wild heather-bells and Robert Burns!

The moorland flower and peasant!

How, at their mention, memory turns

Her pages old and pleasant!


I call to mind the summer day,

The early harvest mowing,

The sky with sun and clouds at play,

And flowers with breezes blowing.


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Bees hummed, birds twittered, overhead

I heard the squirrels leaping,

The good dog listened while I read,

And wagged his tail in keeping.

I watched him while in sportive mood

I read'

The Twa Dogs''


And half believed he understood

The poet's allegory.

I matched with Scotland's heathery hills,

The sweetbrier and the clover;

With Ayr and Doon, my native rills,

Their wood-hymns chanting over.

With clearer eyes I saw the worth

Of life among the lowly;

The Bible at his Cotter's hearth

Had made my own more holy.


Give lettered pomp to teeth of Time,


Bonny Doon'

but tarry;

Blot out the Epic's stately rhyme,

But spare his Highland Mary!"


THE RIVER PATH" No bird-song floated down the hill,

The tangled bank below was still;

No rustle from the birchen stem,

No ripple from the water's hem.


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The dusk of twilight round us grew,

We felt the falling of the dew;

For, from us, ere the day was done,

The wooded hills shut out the sun.

But on the river's farther side

We saw the hill-tops glorified,

A tender glow, exceeding fair,

A dream of day without its glare.

With us the damp, the chill, the gloom:

With them the sunset's rosy bloom;

While dark, through willowy vistas seen,

The river rolled in shade between.

From out the darkness where we trod,

We gazed upon those hills of God,

Whose light seemed not of moon or sun,

We spake not, but our thought was one.

We paused, as if from that bright shore

Beckoned our dear ones gone before;

And stilled our beating hearts to hear

The voices lost to mortal ear!

Sudden our pathway turned from night;

The hills swung open to the light;


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Through their green gates the sunshine showed,

A long, slant splendour downward flowed.

Down glade and glen, and bank it rolled;

It bridged the shaded stream with gold;

And, borne on piers of mist, allied

The shadowy with the sunlit side!


So," prayed we,"when our feet draw near,

The river dark, with mortal fear,

"And the night cometh chili with dew,

O Father! let thy light break through!


So let the hills of doubt divide,

So bridge with faith the sunless tide!

"So let the eyes that fail on earth

On thy eternal hills look forth;

"And in thy beckoning angels know

The dear ones whom we loved below !




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ONE has well said: -


Many's the thing liberty has got to do before we have

achieved liberty. Some day we'll make that word real

give it universal meaning !


Our country won its independence through its

imakers of freedom; but as we have seen, at the

very outset of United States History, there were

two perfectly distinct ideas of government: one

believing in a strong central power at Wash-

ington the other in rights of the independent

States; one the Federalist or Whig party the

other, the Anti-Federalist or Democratic; and while

both parties were attempting to adjust the govern-

ment to sectional differences, discussions about

slavery became prominent. This was practised both

in the North and South; but more in the latter, for

the negro liked not the colder climate, while he

seemed to flourish on the Southern plantation. Andthe question took this form :

"Is slavery an evil? If

so, should it be allowed in new States being rapidly

admitted to the Union?'


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And oratory came again to the fore not so im-

passioned and picturesque as that belonging to the

Revolutionary era but more intellectual and mas-

terful; and we must glance at the characteristics of

these intellectual giants in order to appreciate our

American citizenship.

In the stormy times during the first half of the


the twoparties Whigs


Democrats were merged in three. There were

the"Fire-Eaters," or secessionists of the South, who

felt that they had sacrificed much in joining the

Union. One part of the compact that they had

made was that their property was to be preserved,

and that their slaves were their property. Theleaders were John Randolph, of Roanoke, and John

C. Calhoun, of South Carolina.

We speak first of the brilliant, eccentric, and ex-

plosive John Randolph, who was sent, in 1800, to

Congress from Virginia. Believing fully in State

rights, he so inveighed against the growing spirit of

consolidation that he became a perfect prophet of

disunion. In regard to slavery, with his clear vision

he prophesied its fall. He opposed it in theory

while he clung to it in practice. With awkward

manner, bitter temper, and shrill voice, he was feared

by friend and foe but Congress was always forced

to listen when John Randolph spoke I

And Randolph prepared the way for keen, logical

John C. Calhoun, the famous South Carolinian sena-


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tor, the most distinguished advocate of State rights.

He considered the Union but anassembly


powers, willing to act together when expedient, but

otherwise free to follow their own convictions; and

he thought, too, that a State could, if it so pleased,

nullify a law of Congress. Hence, in 1832, ap-

peared the"Nullification Ordinance

"of South Car-


Calhoun battled bravely for slavery; for he be-

lieved that slaves were property and that attacks on

property were in direct violation of the Constitution.

His personality was splendid, and he fought Daniel

Webster with candour, courage, and loyalty. His

own party was absolutely with him; and is it a won-

der that through his influence, South Carolina, in

1860, led the other States in secession from the


And over against the secessionists of the South

were the abolitionists of the North, making up in

zeal what they lacked in numbers. Their text was

that slavery was an awful crime that must be

stamped out, even though the Union was dissolved in

doing it. Some of them went too fast and too far,

knowing only by report the thing that they attacked;

but even so, theirs was the entering wedge that

achieved a final triumph. Their most potent forces

were William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips,

Charles Sumner, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), was the


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fearless leader. A Newburyport printer, he began


withthe honest conviction that


civilisation, and he was ready to arouse people to

violence in order to exterminate it.

As an incitement to active war, he started' '



as the official organ of the New England

abolitionists, and in it he aroused grave prejudice by

the following challenge :

"I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as

justice, and I will he heard !


For thirty-five years he edited"The Liberator,"

and he declaimed his principles with sonorous voice,

though many times hounded and mobbed; but after

his cause finally prevailed, he was counted, in the

last years of his life, a national hero.

Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), seeing Garrison

dragged through the streets of Boston with a

ropetied about his waist, at once joined the cause. He

made his bow to the public at a meeting in Faneuil

Hall, Boston, where abolition was being attacked.

He jumped upon the platform, interrupting the

speaker, took the meeting into his own hands, turned

the tide, and his fame was assured.

He always delighted in captivating warlike audi-

ences; first gaining their sympathy, and then with a

courtesy born of gentle-breeding, and with graceful

and finished eloquence, leading them on to conclu-


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sions from which their judgment often rebelled. So

with perfectly trained voice and rich utterances, this

silver-tongued orator exhorted the North and antag-

onised the South; and in his later lecture tours, when

the war was over, he spoke on many other subjects,

two prominent ones being temperance and woman's


A short time ago, on the one hundredth anniver-

sary of his birth, Wendell Phillips was called" A

Knight-errant of Humanity,""because he met the

burning questions of his time with dauntless courage

and a faith that never wavered."

And now we must set forward yet another aboli-

tionist from Massachusetts, the scholarly senator

Charles Sumner (1811-1894), whom the slave-hold-

ers in Congress feared and hated. He wrote in

twelve compact volumes the history of the anti-slavery

movement, proclaiming most aggressively his" New

Declaration of Independence"; and he established

his oratorical fame by his celebrated address on"The True Grandeur of Nations."

Garrison was the journalist Whittier the poet

Phillips the orator and Sumner the historian of

the abolitionists; and there remains the novel of the

party, which, perhapsmore than



precipitated the Civil War. This was"Uncle

Tom's Cabin," written by"

a little bit of a woman,"

Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe.

She belonged to a noteworthy family; and her


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father, Rev. Dr. Lyman Beecher, regarded the abo-

lition movement as'

an instance of infatuation

permitted by Heaven for purposes of national retribu-

tion." As a girl, Mrs. Stowe's home was for a while

in Cincinnati, on the borderland of slavery. She had

seen the fugitives and heard their stories at first-

hand, and she had, also, visited a Kentucky planta-


When the "Fugitive Slave Law" was passed, in

1850, requiring citizens of free States to return

those who escaped to them, she was filled with indig-

nation. At this time her husband was a professor

in Bowdoin College, and she determined with six

little children, the youngest not a year old, and with

constant difficulty in obtaining household service

to write a novel with a grand purpose ! She knew

that to make it appealing, it must be brilliant in

colouring; and she became the spinner of a realistic

tale that wentright

to the heart of the Northerner,

while it excited intense and bitter feeling at the


The plot was rambling and carelessly strung to-

gether its syntax was faulty and it had many

literary crudities;but Uncle Tom and little Eva were

tremendously alive, and the book was full of emo-

tional interest. It broke down New England prej-

udice against novel-reading and theatre-going for

even the Puritan read it, and entered the theatre for

the first time to see it played.

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And '

Uncle Tom's Cabin"

had pointed its

moral;it had

larger circulation both here and abroadthan any other American book that had been pub-

lished; it was translated into between thirty and forty

languages, inspiring many, even in Eastern lands,

with an enlarged spirit of brotherhood. This re-

mains Mrs. Stowe's master-stroke of genius, though

she followed it with other valuable books.

In her 'Life," recently written by her son and

grandson, this story is told:


When Mr. Seward introduced Mrs. Stowe to

President Lincoln, the latter rose, saying: "Why,Mrs. Stowe, right glad to see you !

"and then with

humourous twinkle in his eye, he added: " So you're

the little woman who wrote the book that made this

great war !


We have alluded to the influence of the secession

and abolition parties, both of which were willing to

destroy the Union, if needful to gain their ends.

The third, or conservative party, believed that com-

promise must be made to secure at any cost liberty

and union, and from them this is called"The Com-

promise Period." The most formidable exponents

of the party were Henry Clay, of Virginia, and

Daniel Webster, of NewHampshire.

Henry Clay (1777-1852), was a poor boy whose

academic education was gained in a log-cabin, but

he was very clever and rose rapidly, and was in

political life in Washington until he was seventy-


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three, always representing his adopted State, Ken-


With Calhoun, he advocated State rights, but with

Webster, he felt that they must imperil the Union.

He was a winning orator; his delivery was impress-

ive; and he' painted the evils of dis-umon in such

vivid colours that the crisis was long postponed.

The thing in which he was most active wasin


ing, in 1820, the"Missouri Compromise," accom-

plished after long and hot debates in Congress.

This allowed Missouri to come in as a slave State,

but forbade slavery henceforth to be carried North

of its Southern line.

Senatorial and Cabinet honours came to Clay; and

while he stoutly asserted that he "would rather be

right than to be President," he was keenly disap-

pointed when the latter high office did not come his


And at Henry Clay's side, must always stand

Daniel Webster (1782-1852). A poor boy, work-

ing on a stubborn New Hampshire farm, he early

declaimed his political views to the horses and cattle

in the fields. \Vith his clothes tied up in a bandanna

handkerchief, he walked into Exeter and appeared at

Phillips Academy, and begged an education. Hewon laurels there; and afterwards was so prominent

at Dartmouth College, that at eighteen, he was in-

vited to deliver the"Fourth of July" oration, and

''Liberty and Union"

then as ever was his text.


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His style was, at first, rather of the spread-eagle

kind that was most fashionable in those days, but a

friend laughed at him, and he struggled hard until

he transformed it into a simple, sturdy, Saxon diction ;

and it was not long before he could strike mighty

blows with argumentative force. We may not fol-

low him as a successful lawyer and statesman,

wherein he showed marvellous insightin


either law or fact; but it is his commanding power

as an orator that brings him into our literary story.

His reputation was established by an address at

Plymouth, on the two-hundredth anniversary of the

landing of the Pilgrims. There were two famous

orations in connection with the Bunker Hill Monu-

ment; noted eulogies on Adams and Jefferson; and

realistic portrayals of many other subjects. Highest

honours, however, came to him in his renowned

speech, in 1830"The Reply to Hayne."

At this time, Calhoun was Vice-President, and

through his lieutenant, Robert T. Hayne, he pre-

sented his argument for severing the Union.

Daniel Webster employed his finest sentences to

prove that the Nation was greater than any State, and

for four hours he held the attention of the vast audi-

ence and he proved his point. His oration closed

with the words: "Liberty and Union, now and for-

ever, one and inseparable !


He was very fond of this triplicate form of utter-

ance. Another illustration is :

"Let our object be

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our country, our whole country, and nothing but our

country"; and yet a stronger one:


was born an

American, I live an American, I die an American."

These phrases became watchwords, or better rally-

ing-cries, for the Whig party to take up the sword

in defence of liberty.

Young Emerson, for one, in his fascination"


lowed his great forehead from court-house to Senate

chamber, from the caucus to the street 1



speaking of his"great forehead

"suggests his strik-

ing appearance. People turned to gaze at him in

the street, for as one has said," He looked great !


and Whittier who for a time gave him hero-wor-

ship describes him as

" New England's stateliest type of man,

In port and speech Olympian ;

Whom no one met, at first, but took

A second awed and wondering look."

As party contests waxed more sharp, Webster still

maintained the fight; and then there came to him an

ambition to be President, and for this to win the

Southern vote; and in his last striking oration de-

livered in 1850, there was too much compromise

too much yielding to the"Fugitive Slave Law


so odious to his adopted State, Massachusetts, that

never could tolerate any modern views. As a result,

Webster was denounced by the North; and Whittier,


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in his poem, "Ichabod!' represented his idol as

"So fallen! so lost!"

But may not the great statesman have been mis-

judged? May he not have felt that yet more com-

promise would preserve his"Liberty and Union


without war? Who can tell? Webster, however,

was disappointed and embittered by criticism and

political defeat, and his health began to fail. His

last words were,"

1 still live"

and he does live

to-day as our most masterful orator.

On the exterior of Saunders's Theatre, the oratori-

cal centre of Harvard College, are seen seven sculp-

tured heads, representing the world's supreme ora-

tors. They are Demosthenes, Cicero, St. Chrysos-

tom, Bossuet, Chatham, Burke - - and Daniel Web-


War literature was not without its many inspiring

poems and songs, and we may give space to but a

singleutterance on both sides. Father


chaplain in the Southern army, loved the South, and

worked for his fellowmen with gentleness and sym-

pathy. He was laureate of the Confederacy; and

in his poem,"The Conquered Banner," he voiced

the feelings of a heart-broken people. We quote

the first and last stanzas:

"Furl that Banner, for 'tis weary ;

Round its staff 'tis drooping dreary;

Furlit, fold it, it is best:


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For there's not a man to wave it,

And there's not a sword to save it,

And there's not one left to lave it

In the blood which heroes gave it,

And its foes now scorn and brave it;

Furl it, hide it, let it rest!

Furl that Banner, softly, slowly!

Treat it gently it is holy,

For it droops above the dead,

Touch it not unfold it never;

Let it droop there, furled forever,

For its people's hopes are fled."

And Mrs. Julia Ward Howe became the laureate

of the Union army as her magnetic " Battle Hymnof the Republic

"sang itself into being. The story

of its writing is familiar: One day returning with her

old pastor, Rev. Dr. James Freeman Clarke, from

witnessing a parade outside of Washington, they

heard the soldiers




Body,"and Dr. Clarke asked her to put more suitable

words to the music. She, at first, declined; but in

the grey of the following morning, the inspiration

came to her, and rising, she jotted down the stanzas

from which we select a few lines :

"In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;

As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men


While God is marching on."

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And now we need just one more character to unite

our scattered parties and to complete our chronicle

and this must be Abraham Lincoln,"The Eman-

cipator." Think of introducing a man with less

than a year's schooling into a literary record! But

this man had as a boy manifested indomitable will in

freeing himself from the fetters of ignorance. He

had read over and over a few good books, until

from them he had gained the golden art of speaking

and writing distinctly and to the point.

Thus he had shaped a style of his own, unsurpassed

in strength, sincerity, and directness. His State

papers were models of expression, and he won

national fame in his debates with Senator Douglas.

A plain blunt man, he was abounding in wit and

humour, but often carrying a sad heart, weighed down

by the burdens of his fellows and the greater the

occasion, the more his heart was touched, the more

were his soul depths revealed and yet he hardly

thought of literary fame; but he has bequeathed us

two masterpieces that belong quite as much to liter-

ature as topolitics.

One was his"Second Inaugural," delivered on

March fourth, 1865, "With malice toward none;


for all"

it was full of faith and

spirituality, and seemed like a benediction so

soon was it followed by the tragedy that closed his

life. Perhaps, however, the address that will make

him longest remembered is the one delivered at


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Gettysburg, on November nineteenth, 1863, on the

daywhen the National

Cemeterywas consecrated to

the long-sought liberty.

Edward Everett, called"the most accomplished

gentleman of his time," who was in turn editor,

preacher, foreign minister, member of Congress,

Secretary of State, Governor of Massachusetts, and

President of Harvard College preceded the

speaker of the day. With graceful and dignified

mien, he gave one of his smooth and flowing musical

addresses which lasted for two hours, and which was

greeted by enthusiastic applause.

President Lincoln had been too busy to prepare a

speech but en route from Washington he had written

with the stub of a pencil on a bit of wrapping-paper

a few notes, and when Mr. Everett took his seat

he rose awkwardly,"without grace of look or man-

ner," and in a high, thin voice made his brief address,

and seatedhimself. Perfect silence followed he

knew that he had failed!

After all was over, he congratulated Mr. Everett,

and Mr. Everett in his reply said:"

I should be glad

if I could flatter myself that I came as near the

central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did

in two minutes !


And to-day President Lincoln's"Gettysburg Address


is called,"The Top and

Crown of American Eloquence." It is displayed

on one of the walls of Oxford University to show

the students how much can be said in less than three


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hundred words, and for the same reason it is men-

tioned here that our American youth may acquire

from it the habit of concise utterance.


November nineteenth, 1863


Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers

brought forth upon this continent a new nation, con-

ceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that

all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a

great civil war, testing wy

hether that nation, or any na-

tion so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battle-field of that war. Wehave come to dedicate a portion of that field as a

final resting-place for those who here gave their lives

that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting

and proper that we should do this. But in a larger

sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we

cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living

and dead, wrho struggled here, have consecrated it

far above our power to add or detract. The world

will little note, nor long remember, what we say here,

but it can never forget what they did here. It is for

us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the un-

finished work whichthey


here have thus

far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great-

task remaining before us, that from these honoured

dead we take increased devotion to that cause for


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which they gave the last full measure of devotion;

that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not

have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall

have a new birth of freedom, and that government

of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall

not perish from the earth."



'Thou, too, sail on, O ship of State!

Sail on, O Union, strong and great!

Humanity with all its fears,

With all the hopes of future years,

Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

We know what Master laid thy keel,

What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,

Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,

What anvils rang, what hammers beat,

In what a forge and what a heat

.Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!

Fear not each sudden sound and shock,

'Tis of the wave and not the rock;

'Tis but the flapping of the sail,

And not a rent made by the gale!

In spite of rock and tempest's roar,

In spite of false lights on the shore,

Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!

Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,

Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,

Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,

Are all with thee, are all with thee!"



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CENTURIES have rolled by! do they mean anything

to the eager youth of our day, who, absorbed in mod-

ern interests, almost forget that there is a past, for

they have so little time to pore over its story, and

to gaze upon their ancestors from many lands.

They may call history dull. Well there are, as

Carlyle says, two kinds one"dry as dust," the



and any youth will find it an in-

valuable stimulus to read himself into a love for


"history; for


"history is like a pan-

orama, unrolling in miniature scenes of adventure

and exploration and war and camp and court and


Do we realise the gratitude which we owe the his-

torian? Think of what he must possess and what

he must do. He should first have plenty of leisure

to spend in investigation and plenty of money to

conduct this investigation by travel sometimes

covering hundreds of miles to verify a single fact.

Added to these, are the study of languages, and the


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purchase of costly maps and pictures and manuscripts.

Extreme patience and perseverance are required in

unearthing dusty records, and finally all are to be col-

lected and arranged in correct perspective.

And the historian must steer most carefully be-

tween Scylla and Charybdis; knowing that if his

work is too poetic or imaginative, it will not be

counted accurate while if it is unadorned, it will

not be read. All honour to the successful one!

We recall many faithful historians those who

have well exploited our past: the colonial took part

in the scenes which he describes, while others

looked back at them over the centuries; and there

are many to-day in the ranks working earnestly. As

our study is not with living authors, we select four of

those who wrote in the nineteenth century, and from

each we shall try to obtain a memory picture that

may prove a sesame to unlock an interest in their

spiritedwork. These are Bancroft and Prescott,

Motley and Parkman.

George Bancroft (1800-1891), the son of a Con-

gregational minister at Worcester, Massachusetts,

came into the world with the century. An alert,

shrewd boy, he graduated at Harvard at sixteen,

taking such high rank that at the request of the

college, he was sent to Germany to study. Here

again he proved an eager student in both history and

philosophy, and he specially equipped himself as a



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He enjoyed rather unusual experiences for a

youngAmerican of his

time, forhe

was received withhonour by such distinguished Germans as Goethe,

Von Humboldt, Bunsen, and Niebuhr. Besides, he

met Byron and other English literary men.

After five years he returned home. Shortly he

published a small book of poems; and in the same

year, with a friend he established the Round Hill

School for boys, at Northampton, Massachusetts.

For some time, this was most successful, for boys of

prominent families came from all over the land; and

in this building may be seen the little study in which

Bancroft commenced his stupendous work," The

History of the United States." After a decade, the

school lost its popularity and the boys stampeded.

Bancroft, nevertheless, was not discouraged. He

presently was appointed collector of the port of Bos-

ton, and later Secretary of the Navy; and while he

could not pilot a boat, he determined that others

should be proficient in sea-tactics, and urged the

founding of the Naval Academy at Annapolis. In

time, he was sent on diplomatic missions to both Eng-

land and Germany. But wherever he lived or what-

ever he did, other duties were never permitted to in-

terfere with his wide andpainstaking

research into

historical studies.

His principal work was"The History of the

United States from the Discovery of the Continent

to the Establishment of the Constitution in 1789."


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This was in several volumes, to which were after-

wards added two more,uThe History of the For-

mation of the Constitution." The first volume was

published in 1850 the last in 1874 --and they

were extensively read as they came out. Through

all, the writer adhered to a rigid rule to secure per-

fect accuracy. The work is clear, concise, and ex-

cellent and indispensable in a well-equipped ref-

erence library.

Bancroft believed so fully in the dignity of history

that his actors are often statuesque rather than soul-

ful. He perhaps digressed too much; and he was

such an intense upholder of everything American

that he is sometimes more patriotic than critical.

But Bancroft's narrative is masterful, and more

than as teacher, poet, essayist, traveller, philologist,

or diplomat will he be held in remembrance as

the historian of our United States. Perchance be-

cause he toiled so zealously and to such a good old

age, he is sometimes designated" A prose Homer,"

or again" A modern Herodotus."

He was twice married, and lived for years in

Twenty-first Street, New York; but he is more asso.

ciated with his Washington house, near the Congres-

sional Library. He was so fond of politics that

naturally life at the Capital was absorbing, and as

he lived ninety-one years, he came into touch with

successive generations of statesmen.

Here it was that his library grew into vast pro-


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portions from floor to ceiling, on the window-

seats, overflowing into other rooms for he liter-

ally burrowed in books, sparing neither time nor

money in the selection of his twelve thousand vol-

umes, and in procuring authentic copies of State


His summer residence was at Newport, Rhode

Island. Here he set his rose-garden to bloom with

as much energy as he bestowed upon his library in

winter for books and flowers were his loves.

There are two kinds of history: One may be com-

pared to a map with its exact dimensions, distances,

and angles. Such a history is Bancroft's reliable,

definite, and exact; the other is found in the histories

of William Hickling Prescott (1796-1859), in

which we forget the boundaries, for he painted his

scenes in such gorgeous colouring that Daniel Web-

ster exclaimed, after reading his first work:" A new

meteor has suddenly blazed forth in full splendour."

And as we turn to Prescott's shaded life, we

realise in what striking contrast it stands to his writ-

ings. His brave, literary ancestry is shown in two

crossed swords that hang on the walls of the Massa-

chusetts Historical Society: one belonged to his


Prescott, who foughton the

American side at Bunker Hill the other to his

maternal grandfather, a British officer in an earlier


The homestead was at Pepperell, Massachusetts,

1 60

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but Prescott's birthplace was Salem, where his father

was a prominent lawyer. He liked to read and to

tell a story; but he was not fond of applying himself,

and after he had successfully passed his examinations

at Harvard, he wrote home that he felt twenty

pounds lighter. A graceful, interesting youth, with

wealth and sparkling social qualities, he seemed to

have everything to make life attractive when sud-

denly his whole future was changed by a simple crust

of bread. This crust thrown across the table in a

students' frolic at Harvard hit Prescott in the eye

and entirely destroyed its vision.

He struggled manfully with the situation, and at-

tempted to go on with his studies, and then was sent

to the Azores and to Europe for his health; but

brave living in a darkened room, and the advice of

the best physicians were of no avail the other eye

sympathised more and more until its light almost

went out and Prescott faced the question what

should he do with his future.

He might spend it in leisure, always tagged with

"I am blind," and thus gain the sympathy of the

world; but with unflinching purpose he decided that

loss of eyesight should not ruin his career. He

could not be a lawyer as he had planned, but he

might become a scholar and write books, and like

Milton, he"cared not how late he came into life,

only that he came fit."

An indifferent pupil as a boy, he now studied


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grammar and rhetoric and French and German and

Spanishand Latin


and he found in London

a noctograph, or blind-man's writing-machine, which

helped him greatly. His plan for a working-day

was seven hours, in which he might use his eyes five

minutes at a time for perhaps thirty-five minutes; for

the rest, his secretary read to him so that, as he said,

his ears should assist his eyes.

He learned to concentrate his mind upon a single

theme and to assimilate facts to an extraordinary

degree, so that he finally could dictate as many as

fifty or sixty pages a day, and sometimes he would

for days carry many pages in his mind. Often he

would be weary, but he prodded himself on, until

he had spent ten years in preparation for a literary


Spain- -

always alluring to our romancers at-

tracted him as it did Irving, for his internal vision

gloried in the rich colouring, and yet he specially dis-

liked searching into old records; but readers read to

him, and copyists copied for him in large script so

that he might make his own corrections; and while

walking and driving, he mentally arranged his scenes

and fought his battles.

In 1837, his"History of Ferdinand and Isabella


was published, and at once was most successful both

here and abroad, and coming out just before Christ-

mas, it became the fashionable holiday gift. En-

couraged by its reception, he sent fifteen hundred


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dollars to Madrid, for manuscript copies of Spanish

State papers, and in 1843, his "Conquest of Mex-


appeared. This was the subject on which Irv-

ing had intended to write but which he gracefully

surrendered to Prescott; and Prescott revelled in the

early and magnificent civilisation of Mexico, and

somehow he made this history of Cortez's achieve-

ment read just like a tale of chivalry.

This was followed, in 1847, by"The Conquest of

Peru," in which we have the daring exploits of a

handful of adventurers under Pizarro, their intrepid

leader, capturing the land of the Incas, and again

enriching Spain with gold and jewels. How Pres-

cott loved the gorgeous pageantry ! for truly'


glint of armour is in it, the crimson and gold and

floating banners and the movement of advancing

hosts." His last book,"The History of Philip II,"

he did not live to complete.

It was in his home in Beacon Street, Boston, in his

darkened library, reached by a concealed stairway,

that he toiled assiduously, year after year, with his

noctograph, reader, and copyist. His patient, per-

severing effort was rewarded by admiring friends on

both sides of the ocean. Oxford gave him a de-

gree; Macaulay, and Thackeray and Gladstone

greatly honoured him; and his books were translated

into five foreign languages- - and yet Prescott was

sensible of his limitations. Once he said:"

I have

as good bairns as fall to lot of most men; a wife


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whom a quarter of century of love has made my

better half but the sweet fountain of intellectual

vision of which I drunk in boyhood is sealed to me

for ever."

And yet he said again: "There is no happiness

so great as that of a permanent and lovely interest

in some intellectual labour." Truly he must h?,ve

realised Jean Ingelow's words : " Work is Heaven's


The noblest monument of Prescott is his sunshiny

disposition. Bancroft said of him :-

"He was greater than his writings."


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JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY was born in Dorchester,

Massachusetts, and died near Dorchester, England.

His genial biographer, Oliver Wendell Holmes,

gives a happy picture of his childhood days in the

Walnut Street home, in Boston.

Here the great attic and garden were given over

to the sports of this"Embryo Dramatist


of a

nation's life, and his two playfellows, Wendell

Phillips,"The Silver-tongued Orator

"to be, and

Gold Appleton, the future wit and essayist, of whomHolmes has well said that

"he has spilled more good

things on the wasteful air in conversation than would

carry a diner-out through half a dozen London sea-


With cloaks and doublets and plumed hats, these

youthful knights or bandits enacted all kinds of im-

promptu dramas. One day, for example, the

younger brother was found upon the floor wrapped

in a shawl, and kept quiet by sweetmeats, while figur-

ing as the"Dead Caesar," while over the prostrate


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figure one of the literary trio was declaring Mark

Antony's oration !

Young Motley was always reading or studying,

and at the age of eleven, he surprised his family

with two chapters of a novel - - but it was never com-

pleted. When he went to boarding-school, he wrote

home for books and newspapers"Nothing to eat,

nothing to drink, but books!' For a time he

studied under Bancroft, at the Round Hill School,

and at seventeen, graduated from Harvard - - an

impulsive youth, of striking personal beauty, but too

haughty to be popular. He was already a fine con-

versationalist and devoted to society.

Then he went abroad and at Gottingen and Berlin,

he established with his fellow-student, Bismarck, a

life-long intimacy. The beauty of his eyes and the

ease with which he acquired German were what

first attracted the great diplomat. On his re-

turn, he married the sister of ParkBenjamin

editor, poet, and lecturer read law, wrote two

unsuccessful novels, and could not decide what


Finally, some historical sketches delighting his

friends, they urged him to continue them, and at last

he concluded to become a historian. He lookedabout for a field not already pre-empted, and the

story of plucky Holland appealed to him, and how

this small determined nation had won her freedom,

against tremendous odds, from aggressive Spain.


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He made three divisions of this text: First, The

Rise of the Dutch Republic"; Second, "The His-

tory of the United Netherlands"; Third, "The

History of the Thirty Years' War." He did not

live to finish the third, but was working on"John of

Barneveld, Advocate," when he died.

The Netherlands, at that time, formed a subject

comparatively sealed to the outside world, and Mot-

ley went abroad to study, and followed his quest

from country to country; and owing to the courtesy

of the Queen of Holland, and the liberality of many

governments, archives buried for centuries were

freely thrown open, and he spent years in just poring

over them.

He found a key to State secrets, and read"the

bribings and the windings"

of old despots, who had

previously appeared only on State occasions; and he

said one day: "I remain among my fellow-worms,

feedingon their

musty mulberryleaves, out of which

we are afterward to spin our silk." The deeper he

went, the more fascinated he grew, until he called

himself a perfect stranger in the modern world

and felt that if he might only appear in the sixteenth

century, he would find himself on terms of intimacy

with the leading men of that age; and it was not until

he was fully in touch with his subject that he began

to write.

And how quaintly he describes that sturdy little



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That rides at anchor and is moored,

In which they do not live but go aboard"


and in what eloquent language he paints her desper-

ate struggle for civil and religious liberty. There

are vignettes of bigoted Philip Second, inconstant

Queen Elizabeth, and William"the Liberator,"

whose motto even in those tumultuous days was:

"Always tranquil amid the waves

"and who,

though a most genial man, became William,"the

Silent," because with rare sagacity, he knew when

not to speak!

The volumes are full of dramatic scenes in this age

when intrigue andassassination

were shadowedeverywhere. There is the tale of Margaret of

Parma and the Beggars; the depicting of stern, cruel

battles; the defence of beautiful Leyden with its

orchards and gardens and pigeons, and its he-

roic rescue by"The Beggars of the Sea." Motley

does not close his narrative, till Holland has

achieved absolute independence. Truly, he swept"The black past like Van Tromp with his



Freedom and art grew together in Holland, and

in visiting this picturesque land we see how the

Dutch painters of its " Golden Age " have perpetu-

ated her victory on the walls of her galleries; and in

reading Motley's word-pictures painted, too, with

minute detail, we find that he, also, has perpetuated


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the story of liberty and made the Dutch museum as


as thegalleries.

Motley was himself such a lover of freedom that

perhaps his principal fault as a historian was, that he

could not write dispassionately; but his books read

just like fiction and they were accorded everywhere

the warmest reception. He belonged to the"Satur-

day Club," with Emerson and Hawthorne andLowell and Whipple and Whittier and Agassiz and

Irving and Prescott and Bancroft and Holmes; and

in 1857, when he was leaving for England, the mem-

bers came together to bid him farewell, and the last

lines of the"Parting Health


written by Holmes

were :


The true Knight of Learning, the world holds him dear,

Love bless him, joy crown him, God speed his career!"

Motley several times received the honour awarded

to many of our literary men of being appointed min-

ister to foreign courts. He was at St. Petersburg

and London, and during the whole of the Civil War,

in Vienna. He had the courtly manners and con-

versational gifts that would be his passport anywhere,

but for somereason,

he was notalways

successful as

a diplomat. He may have been indiscreet, and cer-

tainly political intrigues were formed against him.

He was disappointed, but always consoled by his

social and scholarly triumphs, the marked courtesies


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shown him at great functions, and the admiration

expressed by Froude and Macaulay and other menof letters, for his works. He lived much abroad,

specially during the later years of his life, and he

died in England, and with his wife is buried in Kensal

Green Cemetery. Bryant, who highly regarded

him, wrote a sonnet from which we quote this

line :

"Sleep, Motley, with the great of ancient days!


What different subjects attract different historians!

One devotes his life to the enthusiastic study of his

own land; another glories in mighty Spain; while a

third applauds heroic Holland, in wresting herself

from the grasp and aggressions of this same mighty

Spain ;and Francis Parkman looks off upon a country

of forests and Indians and adventure, of French and

English encounter, and resolves to centre his labours

upon such themes. He was drawn to them even as a

boy; for although his home was in Boston, as he was

not strong he was sent when very young to sojourn at

his grandfather's home at Medway, then on the edge

of a vast forest. Here he learned but little from

books; for walking to school through the woods, he

spentmost of his time in



birds and squirrels and reptiles and insects, and in

conjuring all kinds of savage escapades. Even as

a sophomore in college, his purpose was fixed to be

a historian, and he selected the subject on which he


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would ever afterwards write, and he never wavered.

His general topic was"France and England in

North America," and it ranged from the period of

early French settlement in the New World and the

alliance with the Indians, to the victories of the Eng-

lish over these French and Indian allies. There are

eight volumes. As a preparation, Motley spent his

college vacations in tramps in Adirondack andCanadian forests; he was sent to Europe for his

health, and in Rome lodged in a monastery, to dis-

cover the character of the Jesuit priests and their

mission. He searched thoroughly everywhere, as we

have seen, for whatever might be introduced in his


Then, in 1846, with a friend he travelled West

over the Rocky Mountains to study the Indian at

first-hand. He met many tribes and visited nearly

every spot which he later described. Always armed

and on thewatch,


for months with the

Sioux, joining their feast or war-hunt or ceremonial,

or defiling with the wild cavalcade through the

gorges. Thus he gained insight into the character

of the olden day savage, with his bow and arrow and

paint and embroidery and war-plumes and fluttering

trophies. No wonder that to Parkman is given the

palm of a masterly treatment of the"Red Man."

But exposure weakened a constitution that was

never strong; wigwam, smoke, and sunlight so in-

jured his eyes that he was threatened with total


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blindness; and when he left the Western land, his

healthwas impaired

for life.

For long, he was notallowed to work at all, and finally only permitted to

use his eyes every other minute, for two or three

hours daily. In 1849, by means of dictation, he was

able to publish his"Oregon Trail

"the history

of his own trip- - and a thrilling resume of out-door


And Parkman rose above every obstacle. Hevisited the European libraries several times to collect

copies of valuable manuscripts. He learned to em-

ploy a"literary gridiron," a frame of parallel wires,

laid on the paper to guide his hand. Like Prescott,

he worked slowly and laboriously; but like Prescott,

his pages grew to chapters, and his chapters grew

in time to eight completed volumes a library of

captivating diversion to the youth of to-day.

Parkman is not stately like Prescott, nor eloquent

like Motley; but his work is graphic and philosophi-

cal, and while illumined with the romance of early

adventure, it is inspired with the spirit of modern


Parkman toiled diligently until he was seventy

years old almost his whole life. His admirers

call him"the

youngestof our

quartetteour finest

historian." Who may decide?

John Fiske, in one of his eloquent lectures, once

alluded to"Pontiac and His Companions



of the most brilliant and fascinating books that had


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been written by any historian since the days of Herod

otus." The words were hardly out of his mouth

when he caught sight of Parkman in the audience,

and he said: -

"I never shall forget the sudden start he gave, the

heightened colour on his noble face, and its curious look of

surprise and pleasure, an expression as honest and simple

as one might see in a school-boy suddenly singled out for


In his quiet home, in Chestnut Street, Boston,

Parkman lived much in his library, surrounded by

books, Indian relics, Barye statuettes, and pictures of

his favourite cats. His children, after the death of

their mother, had gone to live with their aunt, and

he enjoyed their frequent visits, and later those of

his wonderful grandchildren. Always suffering,

he showed astonishing self-mastery; he so liked to

have his sister read a good story aloud, and often

used family jokes and nonsense to conceal his real


His summer home, at Jamaica Plains, was an

ideally beautiful one. He was as fond of roses as

Bancroft. He cultivated flowers and wrote a book

about them, maintaining that gardening had savedhis life. He was devoted to rowing, and here on

the border of the lake where he used to moor his

boat, a memorial has been raised in his honour,

adorned with the"

Spirit of the Woods"

and Dr.


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Holmes added another memorial in the following

stanzas: -

"He told the red man's story; far and wide

He searched the unwritten records of his race;

He sat a listener at the Sachem's side,

He tracked the hunter through his wild-wood chase.

"High o'er his head the soaring eagle screamed;

The wolf's long howl rang nightly through the vale;

Tramped the lone bear; the panther's eye-balls gleamed;

The bison's gallop thundered on the gale.

"Soon o'er the horizon rose the cloud of strife

Two proud, strong nations battling for the prize

Which swarming host should mould a nation's life,

Which royal banner flaunt the Western skies.


Long raged the conflict; on the crimson sod

Native and alien joined their hosts in vain

The lilies withered where the lion trod,

Tillpeace lay panting

on the

ravaged plain."


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PURITANISM that had made New England famous


literarycentre held

swaythere until about a

hundred years ago; but its views were such that it

did little towards bringing about a broader culture,

even though Franklin was doing much for Philadel-

phia, and New York was enjoying her"Knicker-

bocker Group." But in the nineteenth century,

there came to New England a marked spiritual and

intellectual awakening a "Golden Age" of liter-

ature which centred in Concord and Boston. This

was the result of many influences.

As the United States claimed independence, new

social and political views were agitated. There

was the abolitionist movement; newspapers multi-

plied; the Kantean philosophy was imported from

Germany, and books on free thought from England.

Then William Ellery Channing, a devout and elo-

quent preacher in Boston, led the Unitarian move-

ment, in a belief that insisted on more liberal reli-

gious thought.

By the Puritan, literature and a love for beauty

had been frowned upon, because they had drawn the

attention from matters of greater religious moment


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- and now these very things were considered help-

ful to religious life; for as Emerson says in his


". . . . if eyes were made for seeing,

Then Beauty is its own excuse for being,"

and culture of all kinds became fashionable.

And now, too, Transcendentalism comes to the

front a vague theory that in its day had such

powerful followers that we may not pass it by,

though what it ever accomplished remains a problem!

And first the word "transcendental"; its direct

meaning is " a speculating on matters which tran-

scend the range of human intellect, even until these

become the motives that govern our lives." It is

a gospel alike of free-thinking and individualism

all to be strengthened by communion with Nature.

It included enthusiastic study of many'



among them, idealism, liberalism, individualism,

Unitarianism and as to patriotism, it made the

strongest kind of protest against slavery. Lowell

said that in it,

"Everybody had a chance to attend

to everybody else's business."

Communities were established where everything

was common but common sense! Some would

not eat meat and preached a"potato gospel


gave up flour; while yet others were confident that

there would be an instant millennium as soon as hooks


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and eyes should be substituted for buttons! There

were discussions and conversations, led by Calvinists,

Unitarians, abolitionists, and cranks! "The Dial'

was the organ of the club, and its first editor was the

eccentric prophetess, Margaret Fuller.

She was a clever woman who had studied Latin

at six, read Shakespeare at eight, and at twenty-two

had covered the range of modern literature. Abrilliant conversationalist, her words were said to

irradiate any subject. Emerson called her: "The

pivotal mind in modern literature."

She had firm faith in demonology, always imagin-

ingthat she was



mysterious,fateful power. Although an ardent student of

Goethe, she heartily interested herself for a time in

the Transcendental movement. For two years, she

struggled to make"The Dial

"a success, and then

renounced to Emerson its editorship.

Under Horace Greeley, she next went to NewYork as a critic on

"The Tribune." Then she

journeyed abroad and met Carlyle in England.

Her next prominent move was made in Italy, where,

like Mrs. Browning, she threw herself with burning

zeal into the struggle for"Italy free !


Here she

secretly married D'Ossoli, a friend of Mazzini's.

In 1850, she was returning to America with her hus-

band and child, bringing a manuscript which she

had written on the Italian Revolution, and the family

was shipwrecked off Fire Island.


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The leading apostle of Transcendentalism was

Amos Bronson Alcott of Concord a man so satu-

rated with theories that he never could descend to

assist his household in their heroic efforts for daily

bread. Upon a side hill near his home a chapel was

built where his"School of Philosophy

"was estab-

lished. Louisa Alcott wrote :


The town swarms with budding philosophers and they

roost on our steps like hens waiting for corn."

But in the chapel gathered philosophers from all

the world over to take part in weighty arguments,

and to listen to Dr. Alcott's sublime " Conversa-

tions." The school continued from 1878 until 1888

its closing service being a memorial to Dr. Alcott

who had died a short time before. Others inter-

ested were Dr. Channing, Dr. Parker, Dr. Ripley,

James Freeman Clarke, Emerson, and Elizabeth Pea-

body. Some were visionary some were practical

but all were united in enthusiasm for"plain living

and high thinking."

Another expression of modern thought was mani-

fested in the"Brook Farm Social Settlement," at


This was foundedby


eager intellects under the leadership of Dr. Ripley, a

Unitarian clergyman, who later was an editor. The

number of members increased to nearly two hundred.

Among the chosen spirits were Hawthorne, and the


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graceful essayist and magazine-writer, George Wil-

liam Curtis. The text of the community was: "Tolive on the faculties of the soul." There were to

be at the same time plenty of work and plenty of

leisure. But many of the members knew nothing

about agriculture, and after ten hours of daily labour,

they were not alert to"soul thought."

After several years, the principal building which

had cost ten thousand dollars was burned, and Brook

Farm went to pieces for financial reasons. How-

ever, out of all the influences that were at work, a

vital note was struck for intellectual and spiritual

freedom, and it became insistent in the lives of the

authors about whom we are now to speak.


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RALPH WALDO EMERSON was the most famous of

the Transcendentalists, and in his day, America's

greatest philosopher; and he came naturally by his

learning, for he had an ancestry of seven or eight

generations of preachers. The father, a scholarly

man, was settled over a Boston parish when Ralph

was born, and although the child was sent almost at

once to a dame's school, his father deplored that, at

three, he could not read very well ! The little fel-

low was extremely gentle, and we may imagine that

he was inculcated with high moral standards.

N. P. Willis, the poet, however, who used to see

him playing on the street has the audacity to call him:'

One of those pale little moral-sublimes, with

turned-over shirt-collar, who were recognised by

Boston school-boys as having fathers that are Uni-

tarians !


Ralph was but eight when his father died, and

he always remembered with pride the stately funeral,

at which the"Ancient and Honourable Artillery


escorted the body of their late chaplain to the grave;

and the child had other memories, too, and these

were of poverty and self-denial of sharing his

1 80

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brother's overcoat so that in winter he could go to

school only on alternate days; or how sometimes

when the children were hungry, the mother enter-

tained them with traditions of their heroic ancestors.

She was a woman of highest ideals, this mother;

the church honoured her and helped her a little, but

even so the way was difficult. And there was, also,

Spartan-like Aunt Mary, who always held with the

mother that the boys were born to be educated; and

she urged them on with such inspiring phrases as

these: "Scorn trifles" "Always do what you are

afraid to do!"

When Ralph was eleven, Dr. Ezra Ripley, pastorover the church at Concord, took his step-son's

widow and children to live with him there in the

storied"Old Manse." It was in this home that

Ralph's grandfather, the militant preacher, had

lived; and it was Ralph who wrote later the poem

read at the anniversary of the fight. This poem is

really almost as famous as the fight; for it contains

the following immortal lines which are emblazoned

on the"Minute-man


"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,

'Here once the embattled farmers stood,

And fired the shot heard round the world !


The Emerson family remained but a few years

in Concord, and on their return to Boston, Mrs.


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Emerson took boarders, and Dr. Ripley sent her a

cow which Ralph drove to pasture through what is

now a fashionable part of the city; and finally the

boys did enter college, through the Boston Latin

School, and Ralph did many things to pay his ex-

penses. He carried the President's official messages;

waited on table at commons; declaimed on occasion;

wrote themes for other fellows; and tutored in vaca-

tion. Once he actually sent his mother five dollars

to buy a shawl, but it went to pay the butcher's bill.

He graduated at eighteen, and with what courage

he would have walked forth could he have foreseen

that to-day"Emerson Hall," in Harvard, attests to

the honour in which his life-work is held. Until his

graduation, he had always been"Ralph"; now he

announced that he would prefer to be called


Waldo." He aided his brother in one young

ladies' school in Boston, and then was usher in an-

other. Some of thegirls

were older than he, and

they did like to make him blush; but they dared not

take any real liberties with his youth, for he had

such a scholarly mien and carried himself with such


Later his brother went to Gottingen, and Waldo

entered the Divinity School, at Cambridge. Hequite naturally slipped into the ancestral profession

in those days when over forty per cent, of the Har-

vard graduates studied for the ministry. The

classical scholar, Edward Everett, was not only his


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master in Greek, but had much to do in shaping his

life thought. In due time, Emerson was " appro-


to preach, and he was at first the assistant

and then pastor of a leading Unitarian church in

Boston. He also, in 1829, married a wife, a Miss

Tucker, who proved one of his truest inspirations.

She, however, died soon afterwards, leaving her hus-

band an annuity of twelve hundred dollars.

It was during these years that Emerson's views on

individuality began to assert themselves views in-

fluenced by the free thought that had been imported

in German and English books. He adopted the



Be bold, be free, be true, be right, else youwill be enslaved cowards." The rites of his church

hampered him, for more and more he believed in

spirit not in form."Religion is obsolete," he

claimed,"when lives do not proceed from it"

Finally he resigned both pastorate and ministry, and

his health giving way, he sailed, in 1832, on a brig

for Europe, then a month distant from our land.

It was to be a scholarly pilgrimage; he was de-

sirous to meet in the flesh Wordsworth whose Nature

teachings had interested him, and Carlyle,"the gun

of guns"

for depth, and he had the pleasure of see-

ing not only these but many other authors. He

found Carlyle buried among his Scottish moors, and

their chance for acquaintance was a white day in both

lives. Carlyle called Emerson"one of the most

lovable creatures' he "had ever looked upon";


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and Emerson was one of the first to hail Carlyle, and

he made his works known here almost before they

were abroad.

On Emerson's return, he determined to devote

his whole future to literature, and he made his home

in Concord, which is situated in a level country like

Warwickshire; it has a winding river like the Avon,

and besides it was near the stage route to Boston

Emerson said of it that it had"no seaport, no cotton,

no shoe trade, no water-power, neither gold, lead,

coal, oil, or marble." But he would do with it what

Agassiz was doing with the Harvard Museum, make

it a shrine that all Europeans must visit. AnduThe

Sage of Concord " succeeded in converting the town

into a literary Mecca;for was it not the cherished

home of Hawthorne and Thoreau and the Alcotts

and Channing and Sanborn, and others associated

with our literature?


1836,Emerson was married


this time

to Lydia Jackson of Plymouth; and the wedding-

journey was the chaise-ride from Plymouth up to

Concord. He purchased a farm, but did not realise

until later what a bargain he had made in blue-birds,

bobolinks and thrushes in sunrises and sunsets.

The large square house was


stocked with books and

papers and as many friends as possible." Its host's

welcoming motto was:"Any one that knocks at my

door shall have my attention." An old-fashioned

flower-garden shortly displayed itself, for Emerson


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found, after he married, that though he planted corn

ever so often,it

was sure to come up tulips."

A man of simple, sturdy habits, he believed in

manual labour."My own right hand my cup-

bearer shall be," he asserted, and he could do almost

anything except handle tools; with these he was so

awkward that little Waldo, one day as he watched

him digging, exclaimed: "Papa, I am afraid you

will dig your leg!'

And Emerson walked very pleasantly with the

towns-people, interesting many in his views about

"plain living and high thinking." He was de-

lighted with his pupil Thoreau, who was for two

years an inmate in his home, and who was so ingen-

ious that he made himself most useful in both house

and garden. Then there was the dreamy, profound

Dr. Alcott, who lived over the way, and Hawthorne

whom he often encountered in the woodsy path.

And a special attraction was added in the clear-eyed

girls and manly boys of the town, and he called the

latter"masters of the play-ground and the street."

He tried to help them as he walked among them,

with sentiments of right thinking, brave speech, and

cheerful work. He was uneasy at the number of

books that were appearing to divert them from the

standard authors that he had loved. He begged

them to be moderate in all things; to beware of the

words "intense' and "exquisite"; and in writing

to avoid italics.


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"Lecture Lyceums


were now being organised

in different parts of New England, and Emersonnot only wrote but made the platform his


pulpit," and young people greatly liked to hear him

lecture. The youthful Higginson and Lowell, for

example, very often could not understand what he

was talking about but they went again and again"not to hear what Emerson said but to hear

Emerson." "Were we enthusiasts?" Lowell says.'

I hope and believe we were, and am thankful to

the man who made us worth something for once in

our lives."

The corner-stone to Emerson's fame was the

oration, " The American Scholar," which he de-

livered in 1837, before the "Phi Beta Kappa So-

ciety," at Harvard. He had been deemed a preacher

of mysticism, and was glad of this opportunity to ex-

press his practical ideas. In the oration, he urged

the young men of Puritan New England to individu-

alism, self-reliance, sincerity, and courage, and above

all to cultivate soul freedom: 'We will walk on

our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we

will speak our own minds." Daring words these!

and an eager crowd listened breathlessly to this new


Holmes styled the oration"our intellectual Dec-

laration of Independence," and said that the young

men went out from it as if a prophet had been de-

claiming: "Thus saith the Lord." Carlyle, after

1 86

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reading it, wrote to Emerson:"You are a new era,

any man, in your huge country." And from this

time until nearly the end of his life, Emerson deliv-

ered lectures all over the United States and Europe;

but never a one was so logical as this that took Cam-

bridge by storm and caused great unrest.

Another stepping-stone to Emerson's fame was his

" Essay on Nature," which was a text for his future

philosophy. It was written in the"Old Manse,"

at Concord, not long before he established his home

there, and was published in book form, in 1839. It

is full of descriptive passages and his aim in this is

to set forth his idealistic

philosophy, provingthat the

beauty of the universe belongs to every individual

who will lay claim to it, and that through communion

with Nature, we may feel in us the presence of the

God of Nature, and free ourselves from the tyranny

of materialisation.

Though Emerson had not the heart-love of a

Burns or a Bryant, he was really very fond of Nature.

He studied in the dreamy woods, where he heard

wandering voices in the air and whispers in the

breeze. Another delight was to get into the little

boat moored in the river just back of his house, and

with one stroke of the paddle pass from the world

into the serene realm of sunset and moonlight.

Emerson jotted down everything in his journal

which he always carried, naming it his"savings-

bank." Apart from a memorial to Margaret Fuller,


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his writings were mostly essays, and these were

largely from the striking passages in his lectures, and

sometimes he would spend years in stringing together

selections from one of them. His constant habit,

in composing either prose or poetry, was to think out

each sentence or line without regard to what was to

follow so his writings are rather collections of

proverbs than smooth, harmonious pages. But

what other man has created such living epigrams for

a nation !

Plato was always his master; and like his master,

he strove to think deep and high. Sometimes he

would wander so far away that he found it difficult

to explain his own philosophy. At least once when

he was asked to make clear a somewhat obscure pas-

sage, he was forced - - like Robert Browning under

the same circumstances to confess that he did not

know what he meant, saying:"

I suppose that I felt


waywhen I wrote it."

His essays appeared in series, 1841-1878 and

readers do not agree as to which are best; but among

the most helpful are"Compensation,"




"Society and Soli-

tude," and"Considerations by the Way." His

prose in his day overshadowed his poetry, and wedo not know now which will abide the longer. The

poetry, also, was full of high theories and Nature

was prominent. There are many good lines and

some holding ones.


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Emerson had his ideal, and he knew that he fell

short of it. Many think that his"


is his most exquisite poem:-

"Burly, dozing humble-bee !

Zigzag steerer, desert cheerer,

Yellow-breeched philosopher."

He shows patriotism in "The Volunteers"; his

Nature sympathy in "The Woodnotes"

;his reli-

gious outlook in"The Problem "; and his grief for

his boy Waldo, who died at five, in"

Threnody."And there are in his two volumes of poetry manyrare gems of hopeful, uplifting thought. Indeed,

he has sometimes been called"Optimist of Opti-


Emerson is to-day read by the few, for the Anglo-

Saxon mind seeks definiteness and his new reasoning

is not fully interpreted. His work is a curious com-

bination of common sense and mysticism. His

views of the whence and the wherefore seem like

those of the Orientals, nebulous and problematical.

He is frequently styled"The Buddha of the

West" and he was likewise "A soaring nature

ballasted with sense."

His son, Dr. Emerson, seldom presumed to ask a

very serious question. He says:"

I ventured to ask

my father what he thought about immortality and


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this was the answer:'

I think we may be sure that

whatever may come after death, no one will be dis-


In 1847, Emerson visited Europe for the second

time in a literary tour, and his lecture,"Representa-

tive Men," was a marked success, and this furnished

material for a volume, in 1850. He spent four days

with Carlyle, and he describes his talk as " like a

river, full and never ceasing." Among others that

he met were De Quincey, Macaulay, Thackeray,

Tennyson, and George Eliot. The latter rejoiced

that in Emerson she beheld a man! He saw Paris

in the throes of the Revolution of '48. He must

have been held in high repute in England, for on

his return, he was nominated to the Rectorship of

Glasgow University, receiving five hundred votes

against Lord Beaconsfield's seven hundred.

Coming back to America, he settled down again

in his Concordhome,

and as theyears



character grew more and more tranquil. He was

interested in the schools and reading-room and be-

longed to the fire-brigade. He advised the farmers

and traders on philosophical subjects, and always ob-

served the old-time road custom of salutation to


Emerson had no skill in debate, but from principle

attended political meetings. He was in spirit an

abolitionist but he ranked brotherhood above patriot-

ism. Concord, with both war and literary associa-


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tions, had many"high days," and Emerson was

constantly asked to speak at such celebrations.

One of the special town interests was a"

Circle of

Twenty-five," that met on Monday evenings, in his

library; and here as one has said:"Emerson sought

to bind all the wide-flying embroidery of discussion

into a web of clear, good sense.""The Circle


still exists; and some of the older ones yet remember

the day when it numbered among its members sub-

lime Dr. Alcott, Ellery Channing, Thoreau, and

Hawthorne who sat apart and and rarely spoke.

In 1872, Emerson's house caught fire and was

nearly destroyed,and the

family barely escapedwith

scant clothing; and now his admiring towns-people

begged him to take his devoted daughter Ellen and

go abroad until all should be restored; and they went,

and this time sailed up the Nile. Concord prepared

an ovation to greet the home-coming of its"Sage."

The bells rang as the station was reached; men, wom-en and children thronged to welcome him; he was

taken into his perfectly renewed house, under a

triumphal arch."

I am not wood or stone," he ex-

claimed, but he could say only a few words.

And now as Emerson grew older, his powers of

memory began to fail. John Burroughs our be-

loved poet-naturalist, in reminiscing of his own early

days writes: -

"I was an ardent disciple of Emerson and I wrote sub-

consciously in Emersonian style. . . . The musk of


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Emerson was on the garments of all of us young men who

were writing at that time, and even now I sometimes get a

whiff of it in my writings."

Burroughs met Emerson near the close of his life

and said:" He could not speak to us for his mind

was breaking down and he was losing his memory of

men and faces. He sat there silent, with a wonder-

ful look in his deep, far-seeing astral eyes."

Whittier took me up to introduce me. He did

not remember me. Whittier said: "Thee knows

him !


but when I started to ask Emerson about

Thoreau, he seemed to understand, for he beckoned

to a common friend to come and tell me about


Finally, on April twenty-seventh, 1882,"The Con-

cord Sage," sank peacefully to rest, and he was

buried near Hawthorne, in Sleepy Hollow Ceme-

tery; and ever the pines which soothed him keep

watch over his unhewn granite boulder on the hill-


After his death, his son, Dr. Emerson, one of the

citizens of whom Concord proudly boasts, gave Mr.

Cabot the facts and incidents of his father's life,

which he himself wrote for

neighboursand near

friends; and we have drawn our incidents from these

memoirs and from a visit to the home of the great

thinker. The library is just as he left it; his chair

is in place and his pen and inkstand on the table;


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Michael Angelo's 'Three Fates" over the mantel;

and on the shelves gift-books inscribed with the

names of noted authors.

The whole house, mounted in its old mahogany

furniture, with art treasures and pictures, is delight-

fully reminiscent. There are busts of Plato and

Goethe, and certainly two pictures of special signifi-

cance one brought to Emerson from Europe by

Margaret Fuller, and while she was shipwrecked it

floated ashore, and was marked with his name. An-

other, Guide's"Aurora," was sent by Carlyle as a

wedding present to Mrs. Emerson, and on the back

we read in the donor's


"It is my wife's memorial to your wife. Two houses

divided by wide seas are to understand always that they are

united nevertheless. Will the lady of Concord hang up the

Italian sun-chariot somewhere in her drawing-room, and

looking at it, think sometimes of a household here which

has good cause never to forget her? "

T. Carlyle.

And after rambling over the house, one must not

fail to lock out upon the same pines and chestnuts,

the old-fashioned garden, and the woods and river,

whence came many inspirations.

At the Emerson"Centenary," in Concord, in

1903, William Lorenzo Eaton, superintendent of

public schools, made an address before the pupils,

in which he said:


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"Hitch your waggon to yonder star, and with him travel

into unexplored depths of space ;

watch thebirds in their

flight and where they rest, and name them without a

gun. . . .

"In the long winter evenings when mayhap the snow is

swirling around your house, and shuts you from the outer

world, take down your volume of Emerson, and in'

a tu-

multuous privacy of storm'

read and think, and think and

read, until something coming to you out of that great spirit

shall have moulded your lives to nobler thoughts and



" O tenderly the haughty day

Fills his blue urn with fire."

Concord Ode.

"Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?

Loved the wood-rose and left it on its stalk?

be my friend, and teach me to be thine."


"Life is too short to waste

In critic peep or cynic bark,

Quarrel or reprimand,

'Twill soon be dark."


"I thought the sparrow's note from heaven

Singing at dawn on the alder bough ;

1 brought him home, in his nest, at even ;

He sings the song, but it pleases not now;


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For I did not bring home the river and sky;



myear they sang to


Each and AIL

'Twas one of the charmed days

When the genius of God doth flow,

The wind may alter twenty ways,

A tempest cannot blow;

It may blow north, it still is warm;

Or south, it still is clear;

Or east, it smells like a clover farm;

Or west, no thunder fear."


"The Mountain and the Squirrel

Had a quarrel,

And the former called the latter 'Little Prig!'

Bun replied,'

You are doubtless very big,

But all sorts of things and weather

Must be taken in together

To make up a year,

And a sphere;

And I think it no disgrace

To occupy my place';

If I'm not so large as you,

You are not so small as I,

And not half so spry;

I'll not deny you make

A very pretty squirrel track.

Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;

If I cannot carry forests on my back,

Neither can you crack a nut.''



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ONE of the Concord group held fast to the town all

throughlife, even

spendinghis travel


in the

woods, and on near-by streams. This was Henry

David Thoreau, who was born here in 1817. The

father of French descent was a small, deaf, unob-

trusive man, who made lead-pencils, while the

mother, daughter of a New England clergyman, was

very dressy and very talkative.

Thoreau's delightful biographer, Frank Sanborn,

tells of her such a characteristic story that we must

insert it right here: One day when Mrs. Thoreau

was seventy years old, she called upon Miss Mary

Emerson, the austere aunt of' '

The Sage," who was

then eighty-four. She wore a bonnet adorned with

bright ribbons of goodly length. During the call

Miss Emerson kept her eyes closed, and when her

guest rose to leave, she said:"Perhaps you noticed,

Mrs. Thoreau, that I kept my eyes closed during your

call; I did so because I did not wish to look on the

ribbons you are wearing, so unsuitable for a child of

God and a person of your age !


Such were the parents; while the boy Henry, from

earliest childhood, displayed a stubborn will which


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made it difficult to direct him in"the way he should

go." He was, however, fitted at the Concord Acad-

emy to enter Harvard, where he graduated in 1837.

As a profession, he tried school-teaching but not with

marked ability, but he lectured year after year in the'

Concord Lyceum'

course. He also worked at

the lead-pencil craft; but when he had succeeded in

producing the best kind of pencil, he refused to make

another, for with other Transcendentalists, he held

to the belief of never doing the same thing twice.

He was very skilful with tools, and had a good

knowledge of mathematics, so he became both car-

penter and surveyor; and did his work so well that

the neighbours liked to employ him. His idea of

thoroughness was in driving a nail homeuto

clench it so faithfully that you can wake up in the

night and think of your work with satisfaction !


Although Thoreau was always poor, earning a liveli-

hood never troubled him much he wished just

money enough to live.

His wealth was in the woods and on the streams,

and he sought"a wide margin of leisure," in which

to enjoy it. Sometimes he would spend weeks earn-

ing money to last for a certain period, and then he

would stop and enter into his Nature study, until his

funds were exhausted. He delighted in the ser-

mons of his lay preacher, Emerson, for if any one

ever believed in a gospel of individualism, it was

Thoreau, and Emerson helped him in many ways.


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He would often meet him on his walks, carrying un-

der his arm a music-book to press plants, and in his

pocket drawing-pencils, microscope, jack-knife, and


From the day he graduated, to the end of his short

life, Thoreau kept a journal, which was chiefly de-

scriptive of his out-of-door observations. With his

brother he studied the motion of fishes and the flight

of birds, until the two were able to fashion a boat

and rig it. This they loaded with potatoes and

melons and started on a trip a trip probably as

important to Thoreau as that on the Nile to Sir

Samuel Baker; for in 1849, ne published a book

about it, entitled " A Week on the Concord and Mer-


This has many picturesque descriptions, and in-

cludes reminiscences of Indian and pioneer life and

of the Puritanical observance of the Sabbath. But

alas! for the edition of a thousand volumes over

seven hundred were unsold, and Thoreau brought

them home and laughingly told of the unexpected

addition to his library. The book, however, is more

valued to-day.

His"Walden," published several years later, gave

him more immediate fame. This was the recountal

of a two years' sojourn in the woods. This wood-

land belonged to Emerson; here it was that the phil-

osopher often lingered with his muse who guided his

facile pen through his"Woodnotes." In the cen-


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tre, in its setting of pines and oaks, nestles a clear


pond with a pebbly beach, and over it hovers anIndian legend whence it derives its name; for it is

said that one day in the ages agone, the Indians were

holding a wicked pow-wow on the hill just beyond,

and there was so much swearing that the hill col-

lapsed, and all the naughty tongues were swallowed

up. But one good squaw - - Walden - - was saved,

and Walden Woods and Walden Pond perpetuate

her virtues.

Thoreau did not come as a hermit as many have

asserted, but he wished to live deliberately and eco-

nomically, and he had work to do that he could better

accomplish alone with Nature. His friends aided

him in raising a hut that was curtainless and lockless,

and that held the simplest furniture. Here he con-

sorted with his guests, many of them coming from

curiosity, others like Emerson, Alcott and Curtis, to

discussweighty subjects.

Thoreau's expenses here amounted to twenty-seven

cents a day. He called himself a"self-appointed

inspector of snow-storms and rain-storms," and to the

tenants of the forest and water, he became a kind of

St. Francis.' He learned to sit so immovable upon

a rock that the bird, reptile or fish that had retired,

would return. Snakes coiled about his legs; fishes

swam into his hand; foxes fled to him for protection

from the hunter; and birds would hop upon his

shoulder, even while he dug his little bean-patch."


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He was like the man of whom "Quaint Old Thomas





Either he had told the bees things, or the bees had told




"anywhere and you will find an

interesting page.This




Let us spend our day as deliberately as Nature, and not

be thrown off the track by every nut-shell and mosquito-

wing that falls on the rail. Let us rise early and fast or

break-iast. gently and \vithout perturbation ;let company

come and let company go; let the bells ring and the chil-

dren cry. Let us not be upset and overwhelmed in that

terrible rapid and whirlpool called a dinner. Weather this

danger and you are safe, for the rest of the way is down-


And here is another extract in which he talks of



WaldenPond as if

they werefabu-

lous fishes:


They are so foreign to the woods, foreign as Arabia to

our Concord life. They possess a quite dazzling and tran-

scendental beauty which separates them by a wide interval

from the cadaverous cod and haddock, wrhose fame is im-

paled in our streets. They are not green like the pines,

nor grey like the stones, nor blue like the sky; but they

have, to my eyes, if possible, yet rarer colours, like flowers

and precious stones. . . . They are Walden all over

and all through ; are themselves small Waldens, in the ani-


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mal kingdom, Waldenses. It is surprising that they are

caught here that in this deep and capacious spring far

beneath the rattling teams and chaises and tinkling sleighs

that travel the Walden road this great gold and emerald

fish swims. I never chanced to see its kind in any market;

it would be the cynosure of all eyes there."

Thoreau stayed at the pond for two years, coquet-

ting with Nature, alert to every sight and sound, and'


for its clear and exact details has passed

into a classic. It is not so introspective but more

crisp and fuller of life than his"Week on the Con-

cord and Merrimac." His"Church of Sunday-

Walkers to Walden Pond


was most active in his

time; and the pilgrimage still keeps on, and on the

road one may meet travellers from all parts of the

world, and each one adds a memorial stone to the

cairn that stands on the site of the old hut.

The two books named were all that Thoreau pub-

lished; but after his death, selections were made from

his journal, so that now his works include nine or

ten volumes. His"Maine Woods,"

"Cape Cod,"

and' A Yankee in Canada," are used as guide-

books. There are many more Nature-lovers now

than in his day, and in this enthusiasm which Thoreau

so really aroused, his books hold their own niche in

American literature.

Thoreau was not in any sense a misanthrope as

one may find in visiting his Concord home. He was

devoted to young people, and with his flute and


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bright anecdotes, he liked to make merry, and was

easily the centre of any gathering. On the other

hand, he revelled in solitude, and it must be granted

that he did live a life of eccentricities and negations.

He never ate much or drank wine, or used a trap or

gun; he never went to church and never married;

he had a contempt for elegant society, always avoid-

ing inns, dwelling instead in the house of the farmer

or fisherman, and yet his ancestry and belongings

were those of refinement.

He would never pay his taxes, and spent certainly

one night in prison, because as he said he would

not give money to the collector to support slavery.

His description of this night is amusing. He says :


I was put in jail just as I was going to the shoemaker to

get a shoe which was mended. . . . I lay in bed and

it seemed as if I had never heard the town-clock strike be-

fore nor the evening sounds of the village; for we slept

with the windowsopen

which were inside thegrating.


was to see my native village in the light of the Middle

Ages, and our Concord River was changed into a Rhine

stream, and visions of knights and castles passed before me.

When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish

my errand, and having put on my mended shoe, joined a

huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves

under my conduct!"

With all Thoreau's peculiarities, he was on the

whole a vigorous and brave-hearted American. His

life was a short one, for undue exposure ended in


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consumption and he died at forty-five, and was buried

near Emerson in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. A line

of a prayer that he wrote may be suggestive of his

religious feeling:

"Whatever we leave to God, God blesses."

In the rooms of the " Antiquarian Society," in

Concord, are preserved many articles which he used

at Walden: the bed, rocking-chair and table; a

dresser filled with dishes matched and unmatched,

among them a Lowenstoft bowl; a desk, containing

with other things his Bible, and copy of"Paradise

Lost," a picture of John Brown, inscribed with

"Farewell, God bless you," and his grandfather's

Chinese spectacles.

But one gets very close to Thoreau, in the privilege

of meeting his biographer, Frank Sanborn, who for

two years dined with him almost daily, joining himon his walks and river voyages. Mr. Sanborn is

one of the famous Concord coterie, who, apart from

his literary biographies and his influence in establish-

ing the"Concord School of Philosophy," is noted for

the reckless zeal with which he threw himself into

the anti-slavery crusade - - even to the shielding of

John Brown, and it is a rare pleasure to hear him

converse familiarly on many subjects. He is Con-

cord's twentieth century scholar.

And there is yet one other of whom we would


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speak through whose influence Thoreau's spirit

will ever be kept alive and this is our gentle"Naturalist-Philosopher," John Burroughs. He

resembles Thoreau in his Nature-love and Nature-

touch and Nature-vision, but he is not so eccentric.

Dr. Mabie says:


Thoreau would have devoted more time to a wood-

chuck than to Carlyle, Arnold, or Whitman, while Bur-

roughs emphasises his indebtedness to the authors. His

is a broader outlook, and we are thankful to-day to have a

sunny, inspiring guide to"fresh fields




Truly with Robert Louis Stevenson we feel that

" To live close to Nature is to keep your soul alive."


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' HE was makin' himsel' a' the time, but he dinna


be what hewas

about till

years had passed."So said Shortreid of Sir Walter Scott,

"Wizard of

the North"

and so say we of our Nathaniel Haw-

thorne,"Wizard of New England."

Bold ancestors had our"Wizard

": one of Revo-

lutionary fame; another, a stern old judge, known

for bitter denouncement of witches. His father, a

sea-captain, lived in a small gambrel-roofed house

which may still be seen in Salem, and here on July

Fourth, 1804, Nathaniel was born, and he was only

four years old when his father died in South Amer-


The beautiful mother, overcome with grief, liter-

ally withdrew herself from society for forty years,

even taking her meals apart from her children, and

as they caught her sad spirit, their childhood fell

away from them. Nathaniel inherited from his

mother ashyness

and love of solitudethat were only

partially conquered long afterwards when he went

abroad. Even as a boy, strange fancies haunted

him and he invented odd stories.

His boyhood was varied by a sojourn of a year or


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two with an uncle who owned a large tract of pri-

meval forest, on the banks of Sebago Lake, Maine.Here

"free as a bird in the air

"he skated and

swam and fished and devoured books, but this way of

existence only increased his longing to be alone; and

without conscious effort, the sensitive, earnest youth,

was lured on by his muse into paths of weird, haunted

lore. She interested him alike in studying the char-

acter of the sternest New England Puritan; in Shakes-

peare's dramas, and Bunyan's allegory; and she

made Spenser's"

Fairie Queene'

so fascinating

that with his first money he bought a copy and stored

his mind with many fanciful visions. But it was

long before these took definite form in his soul, and

in the meantime, we glance at the practical years

that intervened.

In 1821, Hawthorne entered Bowdoin College,

and the very handsome, athletic youth, with his


tremulous sapphire eyes," won the admiration of

his classmates. They nicknamed him "Oberon!'

and an old gipsy, meeting him one day, asked:"Are

you man or angel?'

Longfellow, Franklin Pierce,

and Horatio Bridge were members of the class, and

all became life-long friends. Pierce and Bridge

were always encouraging Hawthorne, and prophesy-

ing his future success.

He graduated in 1825, and went home to Salem

and lived there for years, just like his mother, as a

recluse, perhaps only venturing out after dark to


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walk on the lone sea-shore. But he was continually

writing,and often

burningwhat he

wrote,for as he

later said:"

I waited a long time for the world to

know me." But his grasp grew firmer, and short

stories appeared in the serials by an anonymous au-

thor. In 1837, tneY were gathered into a slender

volume called'

Twice-Told Tales," because they

had already been printed. The book was welcomed

by the reading world; and Longfellow who now had

won fame for his poems was among the first to honour

Hawthorne, and even critical Poe foretold his future


About this time Bancroft, the historian, was col-

lector at the port of Boston, and through his influence,

Hawthorne was made weigher and gauger there,

and we catch glimpses of our gentle dreamer, weigh-

ing coal and overhauling ships. But presently poli-

tics changed: he lost his position but had earned one

thousand dollars which he was enabled to put into

the Brook Farm enterprise.

The Brook Farm episode which comes next is asso-

ciated with the romantic period of Hawthorne's

career when he was in love and like many another

lover and many another literary man, he was led

astray by the " isms " of his day. He lived for a

year at Brook Farm, assisting much in the hard

work, and very little in the conversations. Mar-

garet Fuller then edited"The Dial


and flashed

out in all her brilliancy; and Hawthorne milked a


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cow, and expounded on the fractious character of

Margaret Fuller's transcendental heifer!

This gifted woman must have impressed him, for

years later in his"Blithedale Romance" which

contains artistic and humorous accounts of Brook

Farm happenings he introduces"Zenobia," his

most dramatic female character, and many think that

it is a reproduction of the ardent prophetess. But

she was not his true love that was the delightful

Sophia Peabody whom he married in 1842, and

never did wife more gladden and enrich the life ot

husband. They took up their abode in the"Old

Manse," at Concord, associated with ancestral

Emersons and Ripleys.

Hawthorne describes it in his"Mosses


as a

house that a priest had built, and other priests had

lived in, and it was"awful to reflect how many ser-

mons must have been written there "; but he added a

hope that"wisdom would descend


upon him

and it did as we shall see. He took for his study

the room in which Emerson had written"Nature,"

and for three years filled it with gleaming visions of

fancy and allegory and what were some of the

'Mosses" that were rooted here? Among them

are theunresting


Old Apple-Dealer,"


Rappac-cini's Daughter,"

"Birds and Bird Voices," and

numerous"Sketches from Memory." Perhaps the

most assertive"Moss


is"The Town-Pump,"

"that all day long at the busiest corner poured forth


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alike a stream of eloquence and a stream of water."

It heldstoutly

to the fact that it was"Town Treas-

urer,""Overseer of the Poor,"

"Head of the Fire

Department," and"Cup-Bearer to the Parched Pop-

ulation," always discharging its duties"

in a cool,

steady, upright, downright"way.

But charming beyond all was the"Old Manse


itself which Hawthorne literally wrote into renown;the


"grew year by year, until there were

enough to gather into a book. Many visited the

house, and Mrs. Hawthorne was a gracious hostess

and allowed her husband to maintain his usual

aloofness. The river was just back of the sloping

meadow. Thoreau had sold Hawthorne a boat and

taught him to paddle, so it was easy to escape

specially if he saw Dr. Alcott approaching to advo-

cate Transcendentalism, which Hawthorne detested.

Emerson sometimes broke in upon his musings, and

when Franklin Piercecame,

the wholetown was


vited to meet him.

Mrs. Julia Ward Howe writes playfully of her

first visit. Mrs. Hawthorne received her most

charmingly, promising that she should know her

husband. Presently a figure descended the stairs.


My Husband," cried Mrs. Hawthorne,"here

are Dr. and Mrs. Howe !

"What they did see, was

a broad hat, pulled down over a hidden face, and a

figure that quickly vanished through an opposite door,

and Mrs. Hawthorne made some excuse about an


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appointment which called her husband to go up the

river with Thoreau. And Mrs. Howe addsnaively:"

So the first time I saw Hawthorne I did not see

him!' Many like pleasing reminiscences from

the attic"

Saints' Room '

to the peaceful river

are recalled as we are permitted to enter this old


But in Hawthorne's day, literature was too poorly

paid to support a family; and in 1845, through f.he

kindness of friends, he was appointed surveyor at the

custom-house, in Salem a town that from earliest

boyhood had made upon him a curious impression.

Here he was interviewed by all manner of folk on

all manner of subjects, and he noted down scenes

and characters for future use. Custom-house doings

would have seemed prosaic to most men, but un-


a romance was growling"

in Hawthorne's

brain; and when after four years, he lost his office,

owing to political changes, he took from the drawer

a half-finished manuscript. His wife was rejoiced

she had saved money for household expenses, and

he should write!

Now he spent a winter upon his first long work,"The Scarlet Letter

"a tale of sin and penalty

the theme taken from a letter embroidered upon a

mantle. He brooded over it and shaped the moral,

and so felt its pathos that he grew thinner and

thinner, and"a knot of sorrow appeared in his

forehead." He became so oblivious to his surround-


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ings that his wife one day found in her basket a piece

of work cut up into bits. Indeed, he had a habit of

whittling off his tabk and the arms of his chair as

he wrote.

When the story was finished, Hawthorne read it

to his wife, until she was overcome and pressed her

hands to her ears for she could listen no longer.

So he knew that it must have force, and he sent it

to his optimistic friend, James T. Fields, the pub-

lisher, who sat up all night to read it through, and

then, in 1880, it belonged to the public. It tells of

only four lives, but it presents so really the manners

and morals of an earlier period, that it will ever be

an artistic and powerful masterpiece of Puritan liter-


To-day, in Salem, we may visit the tall, grim house

haunted with secrets, where lived Hester Prynne and

little Pearl. The introductory chapter to The

Scarlet Letter," which is exceedingly humourous,

relieves the sombre tale which did offend for a while

the good people of Salem, who thought that they

recognised in it sketches of old officials; indeed they

neither knew nor wished to know the morbid author

who spent his days in writing stories and his nights

in burning them. But now Salem speaks the nameof Hawthorne with reverence; and with the aid of

Rudyard Kipling, the town is attempting to raise

fifty thousand dollars for his monument.

The financial gains from"The Scarlet Letter



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were so great that Mrs. Hawthorne wrote to a

friend as follows: "Willyou

ask father to


Earle's and order for Mr. Hawthorne a suit of

clothes; the coat to be of broadcloth of six or seven

dollars a yard; the pantaloons of Kerseymere or

broadcloth to correspond; and the rest of satin all

to be black."

And now, not long afterwards, there came yet an-

other family move this time to what Hawthorne

called"The ugliest little farmhouse in the Lenox

woods." His friends, however, thought it the

cosiest kind of home. Among his writings here was

the"Wonder-Book for Children." He loved chil-

dren and entered into their every caprice and his

daughter says"there never was such a playmate


and he was constantly telling stories. Years before,

his"Grandfather's Chair

"had introduced them to

historical New England, even from the landing of

the Mayflower; and now the"Wonder-Book


" Tanglewood Tales'

laid open such marvellous

legends of old romance which go right to the heart

of a child; and in their mythical and moral setting

these books are among the loveliest of young peo-

ple's classics.

Perhaps one of these most typical stories is the

" Snow Image," which tells of the statue fashioned

by two children. Then Jack Frost and the West

Wind endowed it with life, and it became a little snow-

sister, and a source of every-day happiness. But the

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practical father disenchanted the children, and de-

stroyedtheir ideal

leaving onlythe moral !

While in the Lenox woods, Hawthorne wrote his

"House of the Seven Gables

"which portrays the

fulfilment of a curse upon the distant descendants of

a wrong-doer. In this house in Salem, dwelt stern,

Puritanical Hepzibah Pyncheon and her brother Clif-

ford, and Phoebe is the ray of sunshine that brings

custom to the cent-shop. In the book, again four

Puritan characters are drawn with the realism of a

tiny Dutch picture, and while planning it, Haw-

thorne wrote one day:


My house of the seven gables is so to speak finished;

only I am hammering away a little on the roof and doing

up a few jobs that were left incomplete."

The plot was less gloomy than that of"The Scarlet

Letter," and like that was quickly successful.

And now, in 1852, Hawthorne returned to Con-

cord, and bought one of Dr. Alcott's old homes. He

christened it"The Wayside," for he said that he was

pausing"by the wayside of life." But he was

hardly settled, before his college friend, Franklin

Pierce, nowPresident of the United

States, appointedhim consul to Liverpool; and in 1853, he went with

his family abroad, and was gone for seven years.

During the first four, in the consulate, he became

familiar with English life; then resigning his posi-


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tion, he travelled on the Continent, and lingered suf-

ficiently long in Rome and Florence to gather ma-terials for his

"Marble Faun." Italy fascinated

him, and Rome drew itself into his heart"

as even

little Concord or sleepy old Salem never did." It

was curious but it seemed strangely homelike. In the

Palazzo Barberini, the favourite meeting-place of

Americans, he came in touch with foreigners and

countrymen. He dined with T. B. Read, met Gib-

son and Story, walked with Motley, found in Mrs.

Jameson a sensible old lady, took tea with Frederica

Bremer,"the funniest little old lady," and later on

in Florence greatly enjoyed the Brownings.

Among works of art, he found special beauty in

Praxiteles's"Marble Faun," with which he some-

how associated all kinds of fun and pathos; and he

saw a young man that to his mind resembled it, and

from the two, he evolved the title of his romance.

And he determined to bring in Torro del Simio, with

its legend of light ever burning at the'


Shrine," and another romance began to shape itself,

and he commenced to work it out in Rome, and con-

tinued it in the Florentine villa where he later so-

journed. That had a moss-grown, tradition-haunted

tower, justthe


clapinto the

project,and once

more four characters stand out but against a Roman


These are Kenyon, the sculptor, Donatello,uthe

Faun," Miriam the artist, and Hilda, the Puritan


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maid, who copied masterpieces and tended the Vir-

gin's lamp in the tower. The romanceconceived in

Italy was ended in England.'

The Marble Faun'

is shadowy and mysterious. Possibly its fame rests

rather on its being such an excellent guide-book for

Rome rather than on the thread of story running

through it.

After seven years' absence, we find Hawthorne at

"The Wayside," and here he spent the last four

years of his life. On his arrival, Emerson tendered

him a reception, and all were surprised at the ease

and grace of manner acquired by social intercourse

in Europe. He enlarged the house, adding among

other conveniences a tower to which he might readily

retreat. He planted trees, arranged woodland

walks, and was much disappointed that he could not

make the place resemble an English park. His

favourite resort was the hillside back of the house,

where for hours he would pace back and forth, lis-

tening to the music of the pines, and thinking

thoughts; then he would hurry up to the turret-room

and note them down, or sometimes climb up many

steps to write in his rural bower. Here he converted

his"English Notes


"Our Old Home," one

of his most interesting works, descriptive of his con-

sular life.

Here, too, he outlined and began to write his


Dolliver Romance," which he had promised"The

Atlantic Monthly." He did not live to complete


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it. He "let fall the pen and left the tale half-


He enjoyed the gatherings of"The Circle," held

as we have said on Monday evenings, at Emerson's.

His evenings at home were always delightful. The

family assembled about the astral lamp Mrs.

Hawthorne with her work and the young people

eager-eyed while the father read aloud. Hemade the world of Nature and of life beautiful to

them. Rose once said:"The presence of my father

filled my heart "; and Julian told of the home when

he became his father's intimate biographer.

One thing, however, sorely distressed the great

romancer, and this was the national storm that gath-

ered, and in 1861, burst into Civil War. Then al-

most abruptly his health gave way; he took short

trips with his son to Boston and Washington or to

some near-by seaside resort, but he did not grow

better; andfinally

he waspersuaded


goon another

journey with his old friend, Ex-President Pierce, and

he died suddenly, at Plymouth, New Hampshire, on

May eighteenth, 1864.

Upon his coffin was placed his"

tale half-told,"

and a wreath of apple-blossoms from the"Manse."

In the procession that followed him to his burial

were Emerson, Longfellow, Lowell, Agassiz, Whip-

pie, Dr. Alcott, and Fields, and his best-loved Chan-

ning and Pierce; and James Freeman Clarke said

over his remains the last sad service, and he was laid


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to rest in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, near"the hill-

top hearsed with pines."

Hawthorne was a man of deep and reverent reli-

gious faith. He loved his Bible, and wished that it

were published in small volumes that he might carry

it in his pocket. Possessed of unusual magnetism,

he was so reserved that he was understood by few

literally a gentle-man. Emerson discovered in

him a strongly feminine element. He was devoted

to his family, his intimate friends, flowers and pets,

and was seldom at ease in a social function for he

lived in a magical region all his own. Emerson, in

his tribute, says :

" He rode so well his horse of the

night," and Stedman begins his poem on Hawthorne

with the following lines:

' Two natures in him strove

Like day with night, his sunshine and his gloom."

With unique creative art, he pictured to the world

as no other has done the New England Puritan con-

science he revealed souls rather than faces and

he gave it a symbolic setting; and Moncure Conway

says that"unlike many others, Hawthorne wrote

himself out."

To-day, Mrs. Lothrop, the widow of the pub-

lisher, owns"The Wayside." We know her better

as"Margaret Sidney," the author, who, with lively

imagination and rare story-telling gift, has brought


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into being"The Five Little Peppers." It is such a

pleasureto hear her tell

how these little


Peppers,"in thought, came to stay with her and follow her

everywhere until at last she could not help setting

down some of their doings. She sent the manu-

script to "Wide Awake"; the children called for

more; and as the "Peppers' grew up, their most

original words and deeds filled eleven volumes of


Mrs. Lothrop, with tact and exquisite taste, has

preserved Hawthorne's home as nearly as possible

as it was in his day. There is the same dining-room

where"the sunshine comes in warmly and brightly

thro' the better half of a winter's day"; Haw-thorne's bedroom; the table upon which he and his

wife revised manuscripts; the tower-study with its

remarkable pictorial illustrations, and the standing-

desk where he wrote; and back of the house the pine-

clad slope which Mrs. Hawthorne named his

" Mount of Vision." The " School of Philosophy"

is near, with closed doors.

Here it was, at"The Wayside," that Mrs. Lo-

throp planned a Hawthorne "Centenary"; and on

July fourth, fifth and sixth, 1904, many eminent men

and womengathered

in this


to honour the

memory of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Here on the hill-

side Beatrice Hawthorne, granddaughter of"The

Wizard of New England," unveiled a bronze tablet,

set in a rough boulder, on which is inscribed:


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"This tablet placed

At the centennial exercises

July 4, 1904


Nathaniel Hawthorne

He trod daily this path to the hill

To formulate

As he paced to and fro

Upon its summitHis marvellous romances."

And was there ever such another town as Concord !

For apart from those of whom we have spoken, it

cherishes memories of Webster and Kossuth and

Agassiz and Lafayette and Harriet Hosmer; yes

and of many more who came either"to drink in wis-

dom "at its

"School of Philosophy," or to bask in

the presence of its sages. Then Concord has its

battle-ground and monuments and inscribed tablets;

its literary homes; its library, with one alcove given

to its own authors; and its Sleepy Hollow Cemetery"voiceless yet eloquent with great names."


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IN a great square house in Portland,uCity by the

Sea," on February twenty-seventh, 1807, Henry W.

Longfellow was born. It was a quiet, well-ordered

home, with a winsome mother, devoted to art, music,

and poetry the father, a leading lawyer and mem-

ber of Congress. From the former, the boy inher-

ited a love for those things that made him as a man,

the mostpopular poet

in America; from the latter,

genuine courtesy, and clear, practical habits of

thought and action. And there was for him, also,

another source of wealth: the perpetual fascination

of the rock-girt bay, with sunrise and moonlight play-

ing over it the sleet and storm and fog-bell the

beacon-light, and the sunnyisles all

these very

early inspired him with


The beauty and the mystery of ships,

And the magic of the sea."

Henry was a most youthful prodigy. He at-

tended a dame's school at three; was half through

his Latin grammar at seven; was delighted with Irv-

ing's "Sketch-Book' at twelve; and at thirteen,

slipped his first poem,"The Battle of Lovell's


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Pond," into the letter-box of"The Portland Ga-

zette." Two or three times he peeked into the win-dow to see the printers at work upon the paper; and

his joy was equal to that of Whittier's, on a similar

occasion, when he saw his verses in print. Long

years later, he said:"

I don't think any other liter-

ary success in my life has made me quite so happy."

At fourteen, Longfellow entered Hawthorne's

class at Bowdoin College; and his studious and genial

nature made him friends among both professors and

students. He had already determined to be eminent

in something, and it was during his four years here

that he more and more eagerly aspired to a

literary career. The prudent father looked coldly

on such a project, for literature would never give his

son support. So the latter finally decided on law

for his"real existence," while literature should be

his"ideal one."

However, good fortune waited on him, for it ap-

pears that Madame Bowdoin had left one thousand

dollars in her will, to establish in the college a

chair of modern languages. The faculty appreciated

Longfellow's scholarly way and the ease with which

he mastered a foreign tongue, and they knew his

great desire. So young as he was, he was offered the

professorship, if he would first go abroad and qual-

ify for it, and he sailed away and was gone three

years. He worked very hard and returned a master

in French, Spanish, Italian, and German; and in


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1829, when but twenty-two years old, entered upon

his college duties. He prepared his own text-books,

kept well abreast of his pupils, and filled them with

enthusiasm for their work.

In 1831, he married "a beauteous being," Miss

Mary Potter. Two years later, he published"Outre-Mer," a collection of sketches, describing

his life abroad. They resemble Irving's, though

written in a lighter, more graceful vein. And Long-

fellow's reputation was so assured at Bowdoin, that

after six years of service, he was called to a greater

honour no less than to succeed George Ticknor,

in the chair of modern languages at Harvard and

again he went abroad to equip himself this time

in Germany, Scandinavia, Denmark, and Holland.

A great sorrow came to him while in Rotterdam,

and this was the death of his"beauteous being."

But he spent three years in very earnest prepara-

tion, and so was enabled, in 1836, to assume his pro-

fessorship at Cambridge. Modern languages, with

the wealth of modern literature which they unlock,

was a comparatively new subject to the students, who

before had been content with ancient classics; and

Longfellow was rapidly popular as a lecturer, be-

cause he brought to them suchrich treasures in art

and song and tradition. He really created a new

atmosphere of modern culture, and now he had time

to write.

In 1839, "Hyperion" came out, so entitled be-


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cause it moved on high, among the clouds and stars.

This is the story of Paul Fleming, a young, poetic

pilgrim, who buries himself in books in order to get

in touch with German life, and at the same time,

falls in love with Mary Ashburton. It is couched

in choicest language, holds bits of philosophy, his-

tory, and Alpine scenery and it is so full of

legends of castled Rhenish towers that it may serve

as a guide-book. The final tribute is made to Goe-

the, who had just died. It is needless to add that

Paul Fleming is Longfellow himself, and Mary Ash-

burton, the Frances Appleton whom he met abroad

and later married.

With " Hyperion," we dismiss Longfellow's prose

works which were but three; the others being"Outre-

Mer," of which we have already spoken, and"Kav-

anagh," a story of New England life.

But his poems gave him wider fame, and they

are so various that it is hard to knowupon

which to

pause. In 1839, appeared his "Voices of the


; among them"The Reaper and the

Flowers,""The Footsteps of Angels," and


Psalm of Life." For the last, written on the back

of an old invitation, he had been promised, on its

first publication, five dollars; he never received a

cent, but perhaps later on he realised what it did for

the world!

The Voices"was followed by a collection called


Ballads and Other Poems." In this were two


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ballads that in strength, simplicity, rapid movement,

and picturesqueness,rivalled

those of themediaeval

day. In the first,

"The Skeleton in Armour," the

skeleton tells how he as"a Viking bold


had won

the daughter of a Norwegian king; and how, his suit

being denied, he had borne away his prize"through

the wild hurricane.""The Wreck of the Hes-

perus," picturing a disaster off the Gloucester coast,

came to the poet at midnight, in stanzas; and the two

fully established his ability as a story-teller in verse.

In the same collection, we trace upward the youthful

yearnings of"Excelsior." Here, too, is

"The Vil-

lage Blacksmith"which he called his second


of Life," and it took a very human pen to give such

a subject poetic setting.

In 1842, he made a short trip abroad for his

health, visited Belgium, and climbing up into the bel-

fry of Bruges, found a suggestion for a poem. The

boisterous return voyage lasted fifteen days, and dur-

ing sleepless nights, he meditated over seven anti-

slavery poems, which in the mornings were written

out. They were full of earnest feeling, but not pas-

sionate like Whittier's.

Shortly after, he married Miss Appleton, the sister

of Motley's friend, and soon another volume of

poems was announced, its opening one being "The

Belfry of Bruges." In this volume is the bit

of optimism,"The Arrow and the Song," which

he wrote one morning before church, with the speed


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of an arrow. In this, too, we listen to"The Old

Clock on the Stairs," which still holds its own at Elm

Knoll, near Pittsfield; and here, in 1912, it ticked out

to Miss Alice Longfellow the same refrain:

"Forever never !

Never forever !


that it gave to her father, in 1845, when on his wed-

ding-tour, he and his bride paused in that mansion of

"Free-hearted Hospitality."

Like his swallow-flights of song, his longer poems

were greeted, and none more heartily than"Evan-


the flower of American idyls. The story

is founded on a tradition previously proposed to

Hawthorne; and Longfellow liked it and begged

him, if he had decided not to use it for a story, to

give it to him for a legendary poem. Hawthorne

willingly consented, and later highly praised Long-

fellow's version.

The story is of two Acadian lovers, who, in the

War of 1755, were parted on their marriage morn;

and we follow the saintly maiden, Evangeline, in her

weary quest for her lost Gabriel. It tells of unrest,

hope deferred,and a death-bed

meeting;but it is

woven in flowing hexameter lines and we catch pleas-

ing glimpses of Acadia, the moonlight forest, pic-

turesque trappers, the river bank and ocean shore;

and we hear the exquisite song of the mocking-bird,


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wildest of singers. Indeed, Longfellow cast over


such a halo of romance that it is


"Evangeline's Land


"on the shores of the

Basin of Minas"maidens still

"by the evening fire

repeat Evangeline's story." Years later, when

Longfellow was graciously received by Queen Vic-

toria, the servants stood in the hall to see him as he

passed, because they had heard Prince Albert read"Evangeline

"to the royal children.

It was not long after"Evangeline

"made its ap-

pearance before Longfellow announced yet"another

stone rolled off the hilltop." This was the collection

called"By the Seaside and by the Fireside "; and in

this we read " The Building of the Ship," one of our

finest national poems, closing with its magnificent

apostrophe to the Union; and then, in 1854, he re-

signed his Cambridge professorship to Lowell, for he

wished to devote the rest of his life to society and


ideal world of poetry."

In about a year, we are introduced to the Indian


"Hiawatha." Longfellow had meditated

much upon this aboriginal race; Cooper had given it a

romantic setting; Parkman, a historical one; and he

desired to treat it poetically; and 'Hiawatha," in

ringing metre, is a unique addition to our native lit-

erature. It forms a series of legends of the uncut

forests, war, and hunting-scenes, figures strange and

beautiful, and savage beasts that play their part.

We may hear the whir of the partridge and most


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alluring of bird-notes. We watch the youthful Hia-

watha as he learns of "every bird its language";

we follow him on his quest to the wigwam where

"Sat the ancient arrow-maker

In the land of the Dakotas,

Making arrow-heads of jasper."

We find him wooing the lovely daughter, Minne-

haha, and then they depart, leaving

". . . the old man standing lonely

At the doorway of his wigwam,"

and hear the Falls of Minnehaha

"Calling to them from the distance,

Crying to them from afar off,


Fare thee well, O Minnehaha!' "

and we trace through dreadful famine and Minne-

haha's death, the slender thread of the story, follow-

ing the noble Hiawatha as he journeys onward to

"The land of the Hereafter."

And next Longfellow the poet of the Indian

becomes in"The Courtship of Miles Standish," the

poet of the Puritan. Now we are in old Plymouth,

with its graves on the hill, its meeting-house, Puritan

homes, and busy spinning-wheels. Here are the bluff


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Captain, a better fighter than lover, loyal John Alden;

and the damsel Priscilla :

"Beautiful with her beauty,

And rich with the wealth of her being."

And one must read the poem to appreciate the quiz-

zing, pivotal question :-

"Why don't you speak for yourself, John?"

In"The Tales of a Wayside Inn," the scene is

laid in a hostelry, at Sudbury, Massachusetts,-

"Built in the old colonial day

When men lived in a grander way

With ampler hospitality."

Here, in imagination, there assembled, from time

to time, about the blazing hearth, a coterie of merry

guests, among them Ole Bull, Professor Tredwell,

Luigi Monti, and the poet himself; and each told a

story "well or ill' after the manner of the

"Decameron," or "Canterbury Tales"; and for


"Longfellow drew upon his knowledge

of old legends. Here in one we may wake to"the

midnight message of Paul Revere" in another,

the melodious chant in " King Robert of Sicily."

Few poets dare attempt such lengthy poems as

"Evangeline," "Hiawatha," "The Courtship of

Miles Standish," and "The Tales of a Wayside


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but each fills an honoured niche in American

literature; andLongfellow

has also written


We next open to some of his poems of place that

came from his great"Library of Poetry and Song,"

the treasure-house that he translated from the Old

World to the New. As a romancer, he loved to

wander far, and to return laden with word-pictures

to gladden those at home. There are many

"Old legends of the monkish pages,

Traditions of the saint and sages,

Tales that have the rime of ages,

And chronicles of eld,"

and it is a confusion of riches, from which to select.

We grow drowsy over the English<l



it tolls forth :-

"Cover the embers,


out thelight;

Toil comes with the morning

And rest with the night.


Song sinks into silence,

The story is told,

The windows are darkened,

The hearth-stone is cold.

Darker and darker

The black shadows fall;

Sleep and oblivion

Reign over all."


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Again, in Bruges, we hear the bells :-

"Low at times and loud at times,

And changing like a poet's rhymes,

Rang the beautiful wild chimes

From the Belfry in the market

Of the ancient town of Bruges."

At Wartburg, he recalls the tale of Walter Vonder Vogelweid, the Minnesinger, and his bequest to

the birds. We may not tell"Where repose th*

poet's bones,"

"But around the vast cathedral,

By sweet echoes multiplied,

Still the birds repeat the legend,

And the name of Vogelweid."

At Nuremberg,

"Quaint old town of toil and traffic,

Quaint old town of art and song,"

he"sang in thought his careless lay," and gathered

from memories of Albrecht Durer,"the Evangelist

of Art," and Hans Sach, the"cobbler-bard,"-

"The nobility of labour, the long pedigree of toil."

Longfellow says somewhere in speaking of his

travel :


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"In fancy I can hear again

The Alpine torrent roar,

The mule bells on the hills of Spain,

The Sea at Elsinore.

I see the convent's gleaming walls

Rise from its grove of pine,

And towers of old Cathedral tall,

And castles by the Rhine."

So in his poems he voiced various aspirations, both

native and foreign; but as we study into his life, we

find his spirit more and more dominated by his

"Christus." It was a theme upon which he pon-

dered many years, for it was in 1841, that he wrote

in his diary: "This evening it has come into mymind to undertake a long and elaborate poem by

the name of'


and thirty-two years later,

in 1863, the poem was finished. It is a trilogy

embodying the apostolic, the mediaeval, and the Puri-


of the Christ. Themediaeval,


Golden Legend," came out first, in 1851. This

enters very intimately into the temper of the monk

in the age when the land was"white with convent-



" Men climb the consecrated stair

With weary feet and bleeding hearts;

And leave the world and its delights,

Its passions, struggles and despair,

For contemplation and for prayer

In cloister cells of cenobites,"


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This was followed, in 1868, by the" New England


whichfrom a

studyof old colonial

authors, he illustrated his theme with the persecution

of Quakers and witches. We remember how Leo-

nardo da Vinci, in hisuLast Supper," painted the

head of Christ last so Longfellow left his


"for his final conception, though it came

first in order.


The Christus


was published in

1 863 ;and at the conclusion of all, he writes :


My work is finished ; I am strong

In faith and hope and charity;

For I have written the things I see,

The things that have been and shall be,

Conscious of right, nor fearing wrong;

Because I am in love with love . . .

. . . And love is life."

Was it after reading"The Christus


that one

has beautifully named Longfellow"The St. John

of our American Apostles"


During all these years, Longfellow dwelt in the

old"Cragie House," with his wife, and his chil-

dren :

"Grave Alice and laughing Allegra,

And Edith with golden hair."

The library kept by his daughter as in the olden day

is lined with pictures and antique book-cases. Upon

the standing-desk, in the window where he used to

write, is his statuette of Goethe. Upon the round


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- -














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table, in the centre, are the inkstands of Coleridge

and Tom Moore and his own quill-pen.

There, too, is his deep armchair where he so often

mused before he wrote; and another chair, made

from the wood of"The Spreading Chestnut Tree."

This was presented to him on his seventy-second

birthday by the Cambridge children. The library

is rich in happy reminiscences. Here often came the

poet's lifelong friends among them Felton, Whit-

tier, Lowell, Hawthorne, Agassiz, Holmes, and

Bayard Taylor.

Specially in later life, the"rosy-cheeked patri-


grew to be a familiar figure in Cambridge;

and he tried to be kind to relic-hunters and even to

autograph-seekers. One day an Englishman intro-

duced himself with this remark:"In other countries,

you know, we go to see ruins and the like; but you

have no ruins in your country, and I thought I

thought I'd call and see




Once he had a

request, asking him to copy his poem,"Break, break,

break," for the writer; again a stranger called to in-

quire if Shakespeare lived in the neighbourhood, and

he replied that he knew"no such person."

But he enjoyed, also, a far pleasanter kind of pop-

ularity, as when Professor Kneeland, returning from

Iceland, bore back the following message: "Tell

Longfellow that we love him, that Iceland knows

him by heart !


And a workman in the streets of

London stopped him to ask"

to shake hands with


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the man who made the'

Psalm of Life' "

;and an

Englishmanonce wrote of him as


Thebard whose

sweet songs have more than aught else bound two

worlds together"; and George William Curtis tells

us that Longfellow is so popular because he expresses

his sentiment in such a simple, melodious man-


In July, 1 86 1, Longfellow's wife was burned to

death before the eyes of her family; and in his sud-

den distress at the shock, he sought refuge in making

a translation of"Dante." He studied it line by line,

and has preserved both form and spirit of the"Di-

vine Comedy."

In 1868, once more he went to Europe, with his

daughter; visited Tennyson in the Isle of Wight;

received degrees from Oxford and Cambridge; and

passed the winter in Rome. England lavished atten-

tion upon our poet, and his bust stands to-day in

Westminster Abbey.

His lines, written in the after-glow of his life, in-

creased in depth and fullness, and this is evinced in

his"Morituri Salutamus," which he read on the

fiftieth anniversary of his graduation from Bowdoin

College, before the remaining members of his class,

and Professor Packard, the one surviving instructor.

It opens as follows :

' O Caesar, we who are about to die

Salute you !


was the gladiator's cry


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In the arena, standing face to face

death and with the Roman populace,"

and on March twenty-fourth, 1882, the bells of

Cambridge tolled out, in seventy-five strokes, the

death-knell of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

At his public funeral service, his brother, Rev.

Samuel Longfellow, read the accompanying lines



"He is dead, the sweet musician !

He the sweetest of all singers!

He has gone from us forever,

He has moved a little nearer

To the Master of all music,

To the Master of all singing!"

and his remains were laid in Mt. Auburn Cemetery,

and there went up a cry of personal loss both at home

and abroad; above all, from the children, who were

so dear to him. They claimed him as their own

for they loved his wonderful songs and marvellous

tales. They could understand his meaning. Schools

all over the land reverently draped their halls in

memory, and some yet observe Longfellow's birth-

day, February twenty-seventh.And the common people mourned; for to them he

had taught optimism and aspiration. This we may

realise as we bring to mind some of his helpful

tenets :


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But to act that each to-morrow

Finds us farther than to-day."

Know how sublime a thing it is,

To suffer and be strong."

"Lives of great men all remind us,

We can make our lives sublime,


leave behindus,

Footprints on the sands of time."


The heights by great men reached and kept,

Were not attained by sudden flight ;

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night."

Longfellow had his critics -- and who has not?

Poe thought his poems didactic rather than beautiful;

others, that they were too diffuse or imitative, and

using too much freedom with dates and facts of his-

tory. But his was truly, as Stedman says,"The

gospel of good-will set to music." He had a song

to sing to humanity, and he sang it!

His fellow-authors grieved for him and talked

about him to one another. Lowell writes :


His nature was consecrated ground, into which no un-

clean spirit could ever enter";

and Professor Norton :


The sweetness, the gentleness, the grace, the purity, the

humanity of his verse were as the image of his own soul."

And Stedman says further :


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I see him, a silver-haired minstrel, touching melodious

keys, playing and singing in the twilight within sound of

the note of the sea. There he lingers late, the curfew-bell

has tolled and the darkness closes round, till at last that

tender voice is silent, and he softly moves into his rest."

And Richardson adds one final word:

"His song shall last until another shall sing the same

song better."


"An old man in a lodge within a park;

The chamber walls depicted all around

With portraitures of huntsman, hawk, and hound,

And the hurt deer. He listeneth to the lark,

Whose song comes with the sunshine through the dark

Of painted glass in leaden lattice bound;

He listeneth and he laugheth at the sound,

Then writeth in a book like any clerk,

He is the Poet of the Dawn, who wrote

The Canterbury Tales,and his old

ageMade beautiful with song; and as I read

I hear the crowing cock, I hear the note

Of lark and linnet, and from every page

Rise odours of ploughed field or flowery mead."


THE ARROW AND THE SONG"I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.


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I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I foundagain

in the heart of a friend."




"Stars of the summer night !

Far in


azure deeps,

Hide, hide your golden light!

She sleeps!

My lady sleeps!

Sleeps !

Moon of the summer night!

Far down yon western steeps,

Sink, sink in silver light!

She sleeps!

My lady sleeps!

Sleeps !

Dream of the summer night!

Where yonder woodbine creeps,

Fold, fold thy pinions light 1

She sleeps!

My lady sleeps!

Sleeps !


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Wind of the summer night!

Tell her, her lover keeps

Watch ! while in slumbers light

She sleeps!

My lady sleeps!



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THERE stands to-day, in Cambridge, an ancestral

colonial mansion called"Elmwood," because the

roadway to its entrance was originally arched by

noble elms. Here, on February twenty-second,

1819, James Russell Lowell was born; here he al-

ways lived; and here he died on August twelfth,

1891. He belonged to a distinguished family. An

uncle introduced cotton-spinning into a neighbouring

town, and the busy, populous city is christened

Lowell, in his honour. Another relative made a

will at the Temple of Luxor, in Egypt, in which he

left an educational endowment, that brought into be-

ing Lowell Institute in Boston; and James Russell-

poet,critic, professor, lecturer, editor, essayist, dip-

lomat and speaker on occasion - -bravely upheld the

family name. He was the son of a"learned, saintly,

and discreet Unitarian minister of Boston." His

versatile, poetic mother of Scotch descent, early

taught her children to love the ballads of the"North

Countrie," and to her,


the patron of his youthful

muse," he dedicated his first effusion.

The lad, after the fashion of the day, attended a

dame's school, and he later reminisced over it as fol-

lows :

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"Propped on the marsh, a dwelling now I see

The humble school-house of my A, B, C,

Where well-drilled urchins, each behind his tire,

Waited in ranks the wicked command to fire;

Then all together, when the signal came,

Discharged their a-b abs against the dame."

James was a quiet lad, devoted to reading, and in

due time, following the

familytradition, he entered

Harvard. Here he read everything he liked, in-

stead of ordained text-books; and for this he was

rusticated to Concord, where he studied under Dr.

Ripley, and he enjoyed meeting there a galaxy of

authors much better than the definite work arranged

for him in college. His fellow-students, at Cam-bridge, who had read his verses, thought him inspired

with divine fire, and they flattered him by appointing

him class-poet; and his father, hearing this, sadly

exclaimed: "Oh, dear, James promised me that he

would quit writing poetry and go to work !



poem was a satire on Transcendentalism, to which,

after his marriage, he became a devotee.

In 1838, upon receiving his degree, he made a

nominal study of law, but it proved distasteful, so

he turned his life-thought to literature. But for


how to earn aliving

was a


published a slender volume of his verses, and called

it" A Year's Work." These he later denounced as


The firstlings of my muse,

Poor windfalls of unripe experience."


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Then with Poe and Hawthorne, he attempted to

establish a magazine, but only three numbers wereissued, and he also gave a lecture in Concord for

which he received five dollars. Besides, in 1844, he

married a wife. This was a Miss White, a woman

of great loveliness, but of decided views, both tran-

scendental and anti-slavery. She lived only nine

years, but this was quite long enough to convert her

young husband from a cold, imitative, literary style,

to such a heart-love for brotherhood and patriotism

that in his new vision of"The Present Crisis," he



Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne ;

Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim un-


Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above

His own."

And now life and fuller work and real success,

broadened out before Lowell. His second volume

contained some of his most charming fancies.

Among them"Rhoecus," the Greek legend of the

wood-nymph and the bee; and" A Legend of Brit-

tany," considered by Poe the best American poem.

It is made in flowery lines, but the tale, somehow,

lacks distinctness.

Lowell called"1848


"annus mirabilis," and

it was indeed the wonderful year of his life, for in it

appeared all three of his masterpieces:"The Vision


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of Sir Launfal,""The Fable for Critics," and the

first series of"The Biglow Papers."

.y Sir Launfal's vision embodies the search for the

Holy Grail, that legend so dear to romancers. It

was a sudden inspiration, for it was completed in

forty-eight hours, during which he hardly ate or

slept; and the portrayal of the noble lesson of sym-

pathy and suffering was most sincere and reverent.

It would be difficult to decide which passage is most

popular the one beginning:

"And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days;

Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays:

Whether we look, or whether we listen,

We hear life murmur, or see it glisten:"

or that other, conveying its tender lesson :

"Not what we give, but what we share,

For the gift without the giver is bare.

Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,

Himself, his hungering neighbour, and Me."

Lowell turns mosteasily



to frolicsome mood, as we discover on opening hiu

"Fable for Critics." This audacious, playful sur-

vey of contemporary authors was first made for

his own amusement, and then he allowed it to appear


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anonymously, land, as one has said, he"flecked him-

self with his own whip"

as follows :-


There is Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb

With a whole bale of isms tied together with rhyme,

He might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders,

But he can't with that bundle he has on his shoulders,

The top of the hill he will ne'er come nigh reaching

Till he learns the distinction 'twixt



The poem, composed by one of the youngest of the

guild of letters, is at once a masterpiece of humour,

satire, and prophecy.;

The Biglow Papers," which Whittier said


could only be written in Yankee New England, by

a New England Yankee," were in two series.(_In

both, Hosea Biglow, a shrewd-witted, down-East

Yankee, attempts in the broadest dialect to rouse his

fellow-citizens to military fervour. Birdofredum

Sawin, and the preacher, Homer Wilbur, insert their


In the first series, these views relate to the Mexican

War, in connection with our claim on Texas. They

are a satire on Daniel Webster and his party, for

yielding to the demands of the South. The opening

paper contains the lines :


Massachusetts, God forgive her,

She's a-kneelin' with the rest,

She, thet ough' to ha' clung forever

In her grand old eagle-nest."


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These sentiments did not stop the war; but they

voiced the feeling of the people and well illustrate

the wisdom, beauty and humour, which Lowell de-

lighted to express in dialect form. And among the

episodes introduced to relieve the tension, are some

lyric strains; as, for example, when Hawthorne asked

Lowell to try his hand at Yankee love-making, and

Lowell, in response, wrote " The Courtin'," which

is introduced between the first and second series of

"The Biglow Papers." The delicious bit of


"took place on a

"night all white and

still," when

" Zekle crep' up quite unbeknown

An' peeked in thru the winder,

An' there sot Huldy all alone,

'Ith no one nigh to hender."

The second part of the"Papers

"was not printed

in book form until twenty years after the first; and

in this, Hosea Biglow's humour is more grim than

before, as he aims his satiric weapons against both

slavery and the Civil War. Among other things,

he insists that the quarrel is a family one and criti-

cises England for daring to interfere with what a

free, high-minded people hold sacred. The mostcaustic satire is Brother Jonathan's protest to John

Bull, in which he asserts :-

"It don't seem hardly right, John,

When both my hands was full,


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To stump me to a fight, John

Your cousin, too,


We know we've got a cause, John,

Thet's honest, just, an' true;

We thought 'twould win applause, John,

Ef nowhere else, from you."

Hosea Biglow is as unique in literature as Leather

Stocking, and his words, in their swinging rhyme, are

a splendid thrust at scorn for cowardice, and show

deep insight into truth. They are full of proverbial

hits, and, more than anything else in our literature,

immortalise the Yankee character and dialect.

They naturally caused great excitement both North

and South. Lowell once said:"

I am sorry that I

began by making Hosea such a detestable speller."

We are sorry, too, for if it were only easier to under-

stand the dialect, we might better realise what a bril-

liant addition"The Biglow Papers

"made to the

serio-comic literature of the world.

In 1857, Lowell took his family abroad, and his

little son, Walter, died in Rome. On the home

voyage, they met Thackeray, and with the English

master, Lowell formed one of the pleasant friend-

shipsof his




common.But after his return, another sorrow came to him


his inspiring wife died, leaving him with one little

daughter, and it was well for him that new duties

soon claimed his interest; for on Longfellow's resig-


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nation in 1855, Lowell was called upon to succeed

him in the chair of modern languages and polite

literature at Cambridge, and he was given two pre-

paratory years abroad.

In 1857, he married again, and also entered upon

his professional career, and no man was ever better

fitted to lecture on the whole range of literature;

usually stimulating, sometimes indolent, he was most

popular with the students. His lectures on Chaucer,

Spenser, Shakespeare, Dryden, Pope, and others,

were the result of profound investigation and on'


he spent twenty years, before he gave it

to his class. It is pleasant to think of both Long-

fellow and Lowell, who lived near together, holding'

sweet converse," and linked for so many years with

Harvard, for Lowell retained his professorship until


Ever since his failure in early life, Lowell had

meditated on again trying a serial venture; and in

1857, ne started "The Atlantic Monthly," in which

he decidedly advanced the standard of magazine

writing. In this, his second series of"Biglow

Papers"came out, one by one; also, in 1865, his stir-


Harvard Commemoration Ode," written in

honour of those who fell in the battles of the Civil

War, and read at the festival to welcome the sur-

viving students and graduates on their return.

Lowell remained as the head of"The Atlantic


for four years, and in 1863, joined Charles Eliot


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Norton as an editor of"The North American Re-

view." To both of these magazines, he contributed

not only poems but essays on many subjects, which

revealed him as a man of the very broadest culture,

with remarkable gift of expression. Such were hii

"Fireside Travels,"

"Among my Books," and

"From my Study Windows."

His lectures and essays grewout of each

other;some were arranged for political questions, while

others were suggested by his English dramatists.

These essays, very varied in kind, make up the body

of his prose writings. Sometimes they show want of

perspective, and lack in continuity and sustained

thought; but many of them are most attractive, and

interest even those not usually fond of reading.

They are full of suggestions to seek further. They

enliven the fancy, too, as in the following quotation

from "At Sea":-

" I sometimes sit and pity Noah, but even he had this

advantage over all succeeding navigators, that, whenever

he landed, he was sure to get no ill news from home. He

should be canonized as the patron saint of newspaper cor-

respondents, being the only man who ever had the very last

authentic news from everywhere !


Lowell's "Essays

" furnish a far stronger intellect-

ual stimulus than the gossipy articles to catch the

fancy which are offered us to-day by the alert, modern



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. .. .

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In poetry, his patriotic verses stand first, for with

Whittier,he stood shoulder to shoulder in a


American ideals. With the"Harvard Commem-

oration Ode," three others are ranked; one delivered

in 1873, on the centenary of the year in which Wash-

ington took command of the forces under the now

historic Cambridge"elm "; another, in 1875, on the

centenary of the fight at Concord Bridge; and in

1876, a centennial "Fourth of July" ode. These

are"the cap-sheaves

"of the author's achievement.

And if patriotism was a"ruling passion," Nature

was surely another Nature that always roused him

with child-like joy; a charmed feeling animates his

lyrics on the trees and birds and flowers of Elmwood

the delicate crispness and alert grace of his birch-

trees,"the go-betweens of rustic lovers." The bob-

olink he immortalises as Shelley does the skylark;

watch and listen, as

"Half-hid in tip-top apple-blooms he swings,

Or climbs against the breeze with quiverin' wings,

Or given way to 't in a mock despair,

Runs down, a brook o' laughter thru the air."

Dearest of all is the dandelion - - the

"Common flower that grows beside the way

Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold"

and in very ecstasy he exclaims :


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"My childhood's earliest thoughts are linked with thee;

The sight of thee calls back the robin's song,

Who from the dark old tree

Beside the door sang clearly all day long,

And I serene in childish piety,

Listened as if I heard an angel song

With news from Heaven, which he could bring

Fresh every day to my contented ears,

When birds and flowers and I were happy peers."

His poems are perfectly finished and among them

are many gems. Perhaps the best collection was

"Heartsease and Rue," published in 1888, opening

with the memorial to Agassiz one of the world's

noted elegies.

In 1877, Lowell was appointed Minister to Spain

as a fitting tribute to his brilliant social and intellect-

ual qualities; and later, he was transferred to Eng-

land. He was, as we have already seen, an intense

American; and in an address at Birmingham, on

"Democracy," he did not hesitate to enforce his

principles as strongly as years earlier, in the protest

of Brother Jonathan to John Bull.

But he was, also, a man of unusual tact and dignity;

a speaker of rare felicity he was constantly called

upon for public addresses and after-dinner talks.

The Queen deeply honoured him, and the people

always welcomed him as" His Excellency, the Am-

bassador of American Literature, to the Court of

Shakespeare." And how proud America was of her

Representative Man of Letters"




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And when he had grandly completed his mission,

he returned to Elmwood, to its

"Sequestered nooks,

And all the sweet serenity of books."

He met his"garden acquaintances," received the

catbirds' welcome, and with his familiars, the blue-

birds, shared among the elms and willows his books

and his pipe. He was, in a way, a recluse, but he

never failed to make time for his"friendships built

firm 'gainst flood and wind"; and he held close

intercourse with Wendell Phillips and Garrison

and Agassiz and Whittier and Longfellow and

Motley and Parkman and his special familiar


His library is preserved as he left it, with family

portraits and chair and desk and even his clay-pipe,

and the crowded cases filled with well-thumbed vol-


Highbeneath the roof of Elmwood was his

study, where he slept as a boy, and where he also did

much writing; and in this room one window looks

right over on to Mt. Auburn, not far distant. His

second wife had died in England, and here at Elm-

wood, or at his daughter's home, in Southboro, he

passed his last years, in poetic seclusion, still writing,

sometimes lecturing.

He died at Elmwood, in 1891. Among his pall-

bearers were his cherished friends, Holmes, Howells,

Curtis, and President Eliot, and he was buried in Mt.


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Auburn, not far from Longfellow, and almost in

sight of his study-window. Hewas mourned

every-where in America, and memorial services were held

in Westminster Abbey, which gave token of the

abiding impress he had made on the heart of Eng-


While Lowell had irrepressible humour, he does

not appeal to so many young people as Longfellow.

He is, perhaps, too profound; and he has a curious

habit of shifting from the serious to the burlesque,

and back again to the serious, that often puzzles the

reader; and he did possess some impulsive oddities

of temper. He was, however, as one has said:

" The best of company in the best of company." Hebelieved in his own opinions, and loved to talk while

his admiring friends would sit about him and listen

and his letters to these friends are indeed delight-


Surely we have found him a versatile man this

"poet, critic, professor, lecturer, editor, essayist,

diplomat, and speaker on occasion"; and this versa-

tility may be well exemplified by adding some of his

proverbial sayings, which, like those of Emerson, are

fresh and vigorous to-day :-

" He's been true to one party, an' thet is himself."

" New times demand new measures and new men."

" A ginooine statesman must be on his guard

Ef he must hev beliefs not to b'leeve them tu hard."


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In general those who have nothing to say contrive to

spend the longest time in doing it."


Nothing takes longer in saying than anything else."

"Be a man among men, not a humbug among humbugs."


They are slaves who dare not be

In the right with two or three."

"Greatly begin ! though thou have time

But for a line, be that sublime,

Not failure, but low aim, is crime."


When I was a beggarly boy,And lived in a cellar damp,

I had not a friend nor a toy,

But I had Aladdin's lamp;

When I could not sleep for cold,

I had fire enough in my brain,

And builded with roofs of gold

My beautiful castles in Spain!

Since then I have toiled day and night,

I have money and power good store,

But I'd give all my lamps of silver bright

For the one that is mine no more;

Take, Fortune, whatever you choose,You gave, and may snatch again;

I have nothing 't would pain me to lose,

For I own no more castles in Spain !



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"The snow had begun in the gloaming,

And busily all the night

Had been heaping field and highway

With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock

Wore ermine too dear for an earl,

And the poorest twig on the elm-tree

Was ridged inch-deep with pearl,

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara

Came Chanticleer's muffled crow,

The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down,

And still fluttered down the snow.

I stood and watched by the window

The noiseless work of the sky,

And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,

Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn

Where a little headstone stood;How the flakes were folding it gently,

As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,

Saying, 'Father, who makes it snow?'

And I told of the good All-father

Whocares for us here below.

Again I looked at the snow-fall,

And thought of the leaden sky

That arched o'er our first great sorrow,

When that mound was heaped so high.


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I remembered the gradual patience

That fell from that cloud like snow,

Flake by flake, healing and hiding

The scar of our deep-plunged woe.

And again to the child I whispered,'

The snow that husheth all,

Darling, the merciful Father

Alone can make it fall !


Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;

And she, kissing back, could not know

That my kiss was given to her sister,

Folded close under deepening snow."



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EMERSON, the seer- Whittier, the patriotic bar'd

Hawthorne,the romancer

Lowell,the critic

and Longfellow, laureate of the human heart were

leaders of the most gifted group of men of letters

that has appeared in this country. About the middle

of the nineteenth century, they immortalised Concord,

made Boston, for a second time, The Literary

Hub," and did very much towards creating a litera-

ture that educated the people to a taste for the best.

They were men of great variety of attainment and

how the libraries of the land expanded as they wrote !

Just one more member and the group is complete.

He must be a humourist to make the rest laugh

- and an optimist, to teach them to pay proper

tribute, one to the other and Oliver Wendell

Holmes steps forth as the survivor of the grand old


He was born on August twenty-ninth, 1809, in a

great gambrel-roofed house in Cambridge, Massa-

chusetts a house haunted by four or five genera-

tions of gentlemen and gentlewomen. Among his

ancestors was Anne Bradstreet,'

The Tenth Muse ";

and as he had very strong views about the necessity


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of selecting good forbears, it is well that his own were

so honourable.

His was a scholarly home, and the boys"bumped

about the bookshelves in the library"

;and long years

after, Oliver told the world that he liked books be-

cause he was"born among them." The father, who

wrote"The Annals of America," was, for forty

years, settled over a Congregational church in Cam-bridge, and finally deposed for refusing to accept

Unitarian tenets; and the old house, too, was de-

posed, for just a stone-slab marks to-day the site

where"Oliver Wendell Holmes was born."

He prepared, at Phillips Academy, Andover, for

entrance to Harvard College, and carried with him

a fondness for rhyming. He graduated in the

"Class of '29," in which every member turned out

famous for something. In it were the noted author

and Unitarian clergyman, James Freeman Clarke;

and SamuelJ.

Smith, who, as the writer of"Amer-

ica," would be known so Holmes believed long

after other poets of the day were in oblivion. But

what gave the class wider notoriety, were the forty or

more anniversary poems, which Holmes, as laureate,

dedicated to it.

The year after graduating, he was one day shocked

to read that it was proposed to break up the frigate

Constitution, which was universally known as"Old

Ironsides," because in the War of 1812 it had

won such a splendid victory over the British Guer-


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rlere and, like the Maine of later history, it

was anobject

of nationalpride.

With hotindigna-

tion, Holmes quickly wrote his"Old Ironsides," be-


"Ay, tear her tattered ensign down !

Long has it waved on high,

And many an eye has danced to see

That banner in the sky;

Beneath it rang the battle shout,

And burst the cannon's roar;

The meteor of the ocean air

Shall sweep the clouds no more."

He hurried with his manuscript to the office of


TheBoston Advertiser," and it was at once accepted and

copied all over the land; and it so roused public feel-

ing that the frigate was saved, and Holmes's im-

promptu outburst became a standard lyric.

Holmes first took up law but very soon renounced

it for medicine. This he studied in Boston; then for

two and a half years most enthusiastically in Europe;

and in 1836 a well-equipped young doctor he

took his degree of M.D. He hung out his shingle

in somewhat frolicsome mood, wishing he dared print

on it: "Small fevers gratefully received"; and this

same merry humour and his skill in rhyming somehow

told, at the outset, against his reputation as a physi-

cian, and yet this cheeriness made him always a

welcome guest in the sick-room.


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His first volume contains"The Last Leaf


which popular poem, perhaps more than any other,

manifests his rare mingling of mirth and pathos. It

was suggested by meeting in the street a venerable

relic of Revolutionary days with cocked hat, knee-

breeches, buckled shoes, and sturdy cane. Poe loved

the poem and sent its author a copy in his own writ-

ing; Abraham Lincoln often repeated it; and Holmesread it on occasion, with a meaning which only

he could impart. Written in his youth, the words

seem prophetic when we think of him as the last sur-

vivor of the grand New England group.

In 1839, Holmes became professor of anatomy

and physiology in Dartmouth College; and as teacher

and lecturer, he proved much more successful than as

practising physician. Certain lessons that he had

learned from experience, he earnestly taught to his

pupils. He begged them, if they wanted success in

any one calling, never to let the world know that they

were interested in any other; in other words, not to

attempt at the same time to make rhymes and pre-


The Miss Jackson whom he now married was the

daughter of an Associate-Justice of Massachusetts

and she proved an ideal wife. After his marriage,

he resigned his professorship and resumed practice in

Boston. Then, in 1847, he was appointed professor

of anatomy in the Harvard Medical School, holding

this chair for thirty-five years. As an instructor, he


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was remarkably successful, and given to experiments

of all kinds. His pupils asserted that he knew as

much of the body as the mind, and, by apt and comic

illustration, he made the driest matter interesting.

He did much scientific writing in connection with his

lectures; indeed, most of the prose literary work be-

longing to these earlier years was on medical topics.

Like Emerson and Lowell, he needed more money

than his profession yielded; so he, too, travelled about

as a Lyceum lecturer his'

lecture-peddling," he

dubbed it. Perhaps the best of these lectures were en

the English poets- - and he frequently appended an

original poem. He had not Emerson's personality

andbeautiful tones his voice



clear and sympathetic. One has described the"plain

little dapper man"

his short hair brushed down like

a boy's- - his countenance glowing with fervour

while with kindly and abundant wit, he moved his

audience, looking up at the end of each sentence to

be sure they caught the point! Who could miss it?

Yet not as a lecturer, but as the author of'


Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"

regarded in its

day one of the wisest and wittiest of prose books

will Dr. Holmes be longest known. The suggestion

of his subject came to him in"

his uncombed literary

boyhood," when he wrote two papers and sent them

to a magazine; and now twenty years later, he chris-

tens"The Atlantic Monthly," and promises Lowell

to write for it, because only on that condition will it


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be brought into existence. And after this casual

break of twenty years, he commences his first essay

in these words:"

I was going to say when I was in-


Thus his"Autocrat


It is, in form, very like the English"Spectator."

Here an autocrat presides over a group of characters

that gather, morning after morning, about a board-

ing-house table. His conversation chiefly in

monologue on a diversity of practical subjects

is addressed to those about him; among them, are the

landlady, an old gentleman, an ancient maiden, a

divinity student, and a sweet schoolmistress who sel-

dom presumes to make a remark all of whom are

evidently created to give a turn to his theme, from

time to time. Occasionally an illustrative, rambling

rhyme or poem is introduced.'

Amoftg -these is"The Chambered Nautilus


that most graceful and artistic of Holmes's creations.

The thought originated while examining a section of

the spiral home of this ingenious builder. He noted

the enlarging compartments, in which, as it grew, it

dwelt in turn, and thus he wrote this piece of sym-

bolism :-


Year after year behold the silent toil

That spread his lustrous coil;

Still, as the spiral grew,

He left the past year's dwelling for the next,

Stole with soft step its shining archway through,

Built up its idle door,


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Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no


Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,

As the swift seasons roll !

Leave thy low-vaulted past!

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,

Till thou at length art free,

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!"

And Dr. Holmes was grateful for the heavenly mes-

sage from the little silent architect, and more than by

bronze or by marble, he wished to be remembered by


Chambered Nautilus."J

And other poems, also, were woven into the chap-

ters of"The Autocrat

"among them,


Turell's Legacy"

;and the essays grew until at last

there was a bookful, and in the final paragraph- - to

maintain a slender thread of sentiment that moves

throughout -- the Autocrat carries off the schoolmis-

tress, that together they may walk"the long path-

way of peace."

Years later,"The Professor at the Breakfast


followed, and after another lapse,'


Poet at the Breakfast Table"; and when Dr.

Holmes was eighty-one, he brought out " Over the


;but these monologues belonging to the

evening could not be so exhilarating as those of the

bright, early morning.


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Dr. Holmes calls genius"the ability to light one's

own fire

";and this he

surelydid in his



which at once was famous, and helped to give''



a brave start. He was always watching

the symptoms of the times; and in these and other

essays for current literature, he discussed topics of

every-day, and often from a physician's standpoint.

The astonishing success of"

The Autocrat'


couraged him to write three novels:"Elsie Venner,"

"The Guardian Angel," and

"The Mortal Antip-


- all designed to show differing psychologi-

cal theories. Elsie Venner may fascinate some with

her serpent charm, and the sunshiny old bachelor in

"The Guardian Angel' is pleasing to meet; but

Dr. Holmes does not tell a tale readily and his novels

do not evince his highest talent but he was most

particular about the finish of these as of his other


His biographies of Motley and Emersonare full

of sympathetic appreciation. Motley was always

his close friend, and he wrote out of the very fulness

of his love. He admired Emerson, and in speaking

of him, narrated many characteristic anecdotes; but

he could not quite unravel the philosophy of the mam-

moth thinker, as he shows in the following question-,

"Where in the realm of thought, whose air is song,

Does he, the Buddha of the West, belong?

He seems a winged Franklin sweetly wise,

Born to unlock the secrets of the skies."


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In Morse's"Life and Letters of Dr. Holmes,"

we may read

manyof his vivacious letters to

Motley,Lowell, Whittier, Agassiz, and others; and more,

in Mrs. Field's"Reminiscences." He was, in a

sense, his own Boswell, talking frankly of his person-

alities to his friends and the world. He sometimes

even confesses his petty vanities, for he loved praise

andadvocated it, and he speaks of himself as


Singing or sad by fits and starts,

One actor in a dozen parts."

And we love him the better for the human touches;

but still we wish that hemight

have been attendedby

yet another Boswell, who would have preserved to

posterity more of his sparkling conversations.

And we get, too, a many-sided view of this hu-

mourist, scientist, teacher, autocrat, essayist, biog-

rapher, and letter-writer when we glance into his

three volumes of poetical works which might all havebeen called

"Songs in Many Keys


for they treat

of things so varied.

In "War Time," he was conservative but patri-

otic, as in"God Save the Flag!

"and the "Army

Hymn," of which we select the fourth stanza :

"God of all Nations ! Sovereign Lord !

In thy dread name we draw the sword,

We lift the starry flag on high

That fills with light our stormy sky."


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To instance his clever pen, we name the universal



The Deacon's Masterpiece


that"wonderful one-hoss shay," that, after running a

hundred years, went to pieces all at once :

"All at once, and nothing first,

Just as bubbles do when they burst."

And as " the poet of occasion," Holmes is without

a peer. Mrs. Field calls him:"King of the Dinner-

Table"; Mr. Stedman: "Our most typical Univer-

sity Poet"; another, "The Harvard Mirth-

Maker "; and yet one more:"Sweet Minstrel of the


Boston, his


Three-Hilled City,"was always inviting him to celebrate something, and

he was quickly ready for feast or commemoration.


I'm a florist in verse, and what would people say,

If I came to a banquet without my bouquet?"

once exclaimed this unrivalled songster. Such

poetic effusions do not always live but they re-

ceive enough instant applause as compensation.

And this master of the gentle craft had many gifted

friends. He was a lover of men for as one has


"He always made youthink

youwere the

best fellow in the world, and he the next best."

He was a brilliant member of the"Saturday

Club," that for years brought together in Boston the

brightest scholars of the land, and often at its


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monthly dinners entertained distinguished guests

from abroad. Here one found Emerson, Longfel-

low, Lowell, Hawthorne and Whittier; and often

Dr. Holmes, the prince of conversationalists, presided

with courtesy and unexampled witticism, and he was

one of those, who, when he was in the room, the

whole room was conscious of his presence"Our

Yankee Tsar'

- as Aldrich styled him.

Dr. Holmes had warm admiration for Professor

Agassiz and nicknamed him"Liebig's Extract of the

Wisdom of Ages." Of James Freeman Clarke he

writes :-


With sacred zeal to save, to lead,

Long live our dear St. James."

In greeting his faithful friend Lowell, on his re-

turn from abroad, he wonders :-


By what enchantments, what alluring arts,

Our truthful James led captive British hearts."

Whittier calls Holmes'

our rarest optimist'

and on his eightieth birthday, inscribes to him a son-

net containing the two graceful lines :-


Long be it ere the table shall be set

For the last breakfast of the Autocrat."

and Holmes, not to be outdone by Whittier, wrote

of the latter: -


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"Let him live to a hundred

;we want him on earth,

He never will die if he lingers below

Till we've paid him in love half the balance we owe !


So the members of this New England group be-

lieved firmly in one another, paid loving tribute to

one another, and held together till death. Very

touching are the memorial lines from Holmes to

Lowell :


Thou shouldst have sung the swan-song for the choir"

In reference to the warm friendships embodiedin

his poems, we quote this story from Mrs. Field's



"One evening the Doctor came in after the Phi Beta

Kappa dinner at Cambridge, and said :


I can't stop

I just came to read you some verses I gave at the dinner to-

day. I wouldn't have brought them, but Hoar says they are

the best I have ever done.' Then in the fading sunset light

reflected from the river, he read with great tenderness'

Bill and Joe.'"

Mrs. Field adds: "These are pleasant on the

printed page, but divested of the affection with whichhe read them." Later in life, Dr. Holmes said in

reference to similar poems :

"The writing of such

verses has been a passionate joy."

And now to return to the facts of Dr. Holmes's


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life. In the Civil War, his son, Captain Holmes,

was wounded at the battle at Ball's Bluff, andafter

seeking him, he wrote: "My Hunt after the Cap-

tain." The son lived"

to light another day'


Bull Run, and also to become the honoured Chief-

Justice of Massachusetts.

On Dr. Holmes's seventieth birthday, the publish-

ers of"

The Atlantic Monthly'

tendered him a

great public breakfast to which were summoned many

representative men. For this he wrote,'

The Iron

Gate," a cheerful picture of old age. Truly, as Bur-

roughs said of him:"May is in his heart, and early

autumn in his brain."

On resigning his professorship at Harvard, in

1882, the students presented him with a loving-cup

inscribed with his own lines :-

"Love Bless Thee

, Joy Crown Thee, God Speed Thy


Dr. Holmes had always disliked change of any

kind, and except for his lectures, he had travelled

very little, for"Better a hash at home than a roast

with strangers," had been his motto. So his friends

were surprised when, in 1886, fifty years after his

first trip, Dr. Holmes took his daughter and went

abroad. As " The Autocrat," he was lionised

everywhere, and his biographer says that it was only

by extreme care that he extricated himself alive from

the hospitalities of his British friends. Edinburgh,


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Cambridge, and Oxford conferred degrees upon him;

and as he appeared on the platform at Oxford, the

students shrieked: 'Did he come in the One-Hoss

Shay?' Upon his return to America he wrote,"One Hundred Days in Europe."

The Autocrat spent his summers at Beverly Farms;

and here, on his vine-covered verandah, overlooking

the ocean, he passed


many days of glowing hours."His winter home was in Boston, which was to him the

veritable"Hub of the Universe

"while to his ad-

mirers, his library was"the hub

"of Boston. His

latest residence was on Beacon Street, near the homes

of Mr. Howells and other old-time friends. How

many to-day recall his cordial welcome as they visited

him in his luxurious library, with the changing view

upon Back Bay. Upon the wall hung a treasured

Copley, the portrait of his ancestor,"Dorothy Q."

In his dainty poem addressed to her, he acquaints us

with her thus :-

"Grandmother's mother: her age, I guess,

Thirteen summers, or something less;

Girlish bust, but womanly air;

Smooth, square forehead with uprolled hair;

Lips that lover has never kissed;

Taper fingers and slender wrist;

Hanging sleeves of stiff brocade;

So they painted the little maid.

* ^

On her hand a parrot green

Sits unmoving and broods serene."


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And in his library, in the sunset of life, he enjoyed

lookingout of the

big bay-window,over the ex-

panse of water, watching the tide and craft and sea-

gulls; and just beyond, Cambridge where he was

born, Harvard College with which he had been so

long allied, and Mt. Auburn Cemetery where his re-

mains would rest. His final volume of poems, pub-

lished in 1888, was entitled "Before the Curfew."Its text seemingly is:

"The curfew tells me cover

up the fire."

All the years he had been devoted to"The Boys

of '29," even when"The poor old raft was going

to pieces and it was hard to get any together"


finally, in 1889, he wrote his parting tribute. So run

the first three stanzas :-

"The Play is over. While the light

Yet lingers in the darkening hall,

I come to say a last Good-night

Before the final Exeunt all.

We gathered once, a joyous throng;

The jovial toasts went gayly round;

With jest, and laugh, and shout, and song,

We made the floors and walls resound.

We come with feeble steps and slow,A little band of four or five,

Left from the wrecks of long ago,

Still pleased to find ourselves alive.


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So ends 'The Boys,'--a lifelong play

We, too, must hear the Prompter's call

To fairer scenes and brighter day:

Farewell! I let the curtain fall."

It is pathetic to note that, in the next year, at the

only subsequent meeting of the class, but three were

present, and there was no poem.

After the death of his wife, the genial



"had been guarded very carefully by his son and

daughter-in-law. The end came quietly on August

seventh, 1894. His funeral took place from King's

Chapel, Cambridge, where he had worshipped for

many years, and he sleeps in Mt. Auburn, not far

from Longfellow and Lowell and with his death,

the famous epoch closes. For many friends he had

written memorials; and among those prepared for

himself was the following from London"Punch



The Last Leaf,' can it be true

We have turned it, and on you,Friend of all?

Of sweet singers the most sane,

Of keen wits the most humane.

With a

manlybreadth of

soul,And a fancy quaint and droll,

Ripe and mellow.

Years your spirit could not tame,

And they will not dim your fame;


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England joys

In your songs, all strength and ease,

And the dreams you made to please

Grey-haired boys."



Come, dear old comrade, you and I

Will steal an hour from days gone by,

The shining days when life was new,

And all was bright with morning dew,

The lusty days of long ago,

When you were Bill and I was Joe.

Your name may flaunt a titled trail

Proud as a cockerel's rainbow tail,

And mine as brief appendix wear

As Tam O'Shanter's luckless mare;

To-day, old friend, remember still

That I am Joe and you are Bill.

You've won the great world's envied prize.

And grand you look in people's eyes,

With HON. and LL.D.

In big brave letters, fair to see,

Your fist, old fellow ! off they go !

How are you, Bill? How are you, Joe?

You've worn the judge's ermined robe;

You've taught your name to half the globe;

You've sung mankind a deathless strain;

You've made the dead past live again :

The world may call you what it will,

But you and I are Joe and Bill.


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The chaffing young folks stare and say'

See those old buffers, bent and grey,

They talk like fellows in their teens !

Mad, poor old boys! That's what it means,-

And shake their heads; they little know

The throbbing hearts of Bill and Joe!

How Bill forgets his hour of pride,

While Joe sits smiling at his side;

How Joe, in spite of time's disguise,

Finds the old schoolmate in his eyes,

Those calm, stern eyes that melt and fill

As Joe looks fondly up at Bill.

Ah, pensive scholar, what is fame?

A fitful


leaping flame;A giddy whirlwind's fickle gust,

That lifts a pinch of mortal dust;

A few swift years, and who can show

Which dust was Bill and which was Joe?

The weary idol takes his stand,

Holds out his bruised and aching hand,

While gaping thousands come and go,

How vain it seems, this empty show!

Till all at once his pulses thrill;

'Tis poor old Joe's'

God bless you, Bill!'

And shall we breathe in happier spheres

The names that pleased our mortal ears,

In some sweet lull of harp and song

For earth-born spirits none too long,

Just whispering of the world below

Where this was Bill and that was Joe ?


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No matter; while our home is here

No sounding name is half so dear ;

When fades at length our lingering day,

Who cares what pompous tombstones say?

Read on the hearts that love us still,

Hie jacet Joe. Hie jacet Bill."



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EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)

EDGAR ALLAN POE, the most famous Southern

author,and one of the renowned

literaryartists of

the world, stands apart a solitary, statuesque figure

in American literature. Born in the same year with

Oliver Wendell Holmes,r

he character of the morose

and sensitive genius was'in striking contrast to that

of the gentle, lovable humourist.

His grandfather, a Revolutionary patriot, founded

the family in Maryland; and Poe's dashing young

father, while studying law in Baltimore in 1805,

alienated himself from his parents, by marrying a

pretty English actress, and adopting his wife's pro-

fession; and it was on January nineteenth, 1809,

while these strolling players were fulfilling an engage-

ment in Boston, that Edgar was born; a little later,

both parents died in the same month, leaving three

small children to the tender mercies of the world.

It seems a remarkable fact that all three were

adopted by wealthy people.Mr. Allan, a tobacco merchant of Richmond, Vir-

ginia, was attracted by the precocious little Edgar,

and from a home of poverty, he was transferred to

one of real Southern luxury. Mrs. Allan petted and


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caressed him, while his foster-father indulged him in


wish. At six

yearsold, the

gifted child,


his bright eyes and dark curls and dressed like a

prince, would stand upon a table, and, in sweetest

tone, declaim to guests, or pledge them"right


in a glass of wine.

When he was seven, he was taken abroad and

placed in an English school, and later in Richmondwas carefully prepared to enter college. With

musical ear and wonderful memory, he learned to

recite with surprising effect some of the finest pas-

sages from the English poets. Literature and his-

tory, French and Latin, always charmed him. He

was excellent in debate, led in athletics, and madea remarkable swimming record, and the boys culti-

vated him because he always had plenty of pocket-


The University of Virginia had been recently es-

tablished by the patriotic efforts of Thomas Jefferson,

and was numbering as its students distinguished

young men from all parts of the Southland; and here,

at seventeen years of age, Poe was admitted ac-

complished, capricious, imperious, and handsome

and living in the confidence that he was to inherit a

fortune. He won creditable honours as a scholar;

he covered his wr

alls with his sketches; wrote rhyming

squibs to entertain his class; and presently gave way

to temptation in drinking and gambling, and after he

had lost hundreds of dollars, Mr. Allan removed him


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EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)

from the University and placed him in his counting-


The gay youth with fascinating eyes, winning

smile, pleasing voice, and aristocratic manners, en-,

joyed the polished society of Richmond. He cared

not for men, but began now to form those ideal loves

for women that dominated his life. It mattered not

what their age; the mother of one of his friends was

probably the inspiration of his poem"Lenore."

For a time all went well; soon, however, he fell

again into temptation; gambling-debts increased, and

Mr. Allan refused to pay them, reprimanding him

severely- - and at last the high-spirited youth who

would brook no restraint broke loose from his envi-

ronment. Mr. Allan had married again and would

have nothing to do with his wayward protege, and

when he died a few years later did not even mention

him in his will.


driftedaway to the home of his

aunt, Mrs. Clemm, in Baltimore. He also entered

the army under an assumed name, for like his idol,

Lord Byron, he determined to assist in some struggle

for freedom. He was summoned back to Richmond

by Mrs. Allan's illness, and she was dead when he

arrived, but a temporary reconciliation took place

with his foster-father.

It was now time to decide upon a profession and

Edgar resolved to enter the army, and Mr. Allan

obtained for him admission to West Point. Again,


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for a little all went well;then he began to show con-







He wrote Mr. Allan, begging him to recall him, and

Mr. Allan refusing, he arranged himself to be ex-

pelled by shirking parole and absenting himself from

roll-call. He was, as one has said,"perhaps the

most gifted, but least creditable cadet that ever

entered that celebrated school-of-arms."

Before leaving, he arranged with the cadets to

subscribe to a volume of his poems which he promised

to dedicate to them, and as soon as he was free, deter-

mined to support himself by writing, for authorship

was the only thing in his life that he ever treated seri-

ously. Very soon,'

Tamerlane and Other Poems"

was published, dedicated"To the U. S. Corps of

Cadets," which the cadets, by the way, thought"rub-

bish," because they did not contain the promised

squibs- - and apart from West Point, the book made

no impression in the world.

From 1832-1849, we /ace the struggling years of

Poe's life, in which he made his wonderful literary

record. His aunt, Mrs. Clemm, the one friend al-

ways faithful to him, was too poor to support him,

and for a long time after leaving West Point, he suf-

fered for both food and clothing. Oneday


learned that"The Saturday Visitor

"of Baltimore

had offered a hundred dollar prize for the best story.

He wrote" A MS. Found in a Bottle," and sent

it in, and was the fortunate winner. John Pendle-


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EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)

ton Kennedy, the statesman-author and one of the

judges, was interested in this book, so


highly imagi-native and a little given to the terrific," and sought

out its young author, whom he found living in an

attic in poverty; he offered him full access to the com-

forts of his home, and a horse to ride when he needed

exercise. Best of all, he became Poe's literary spon-

sor, securing him a position on the editorial staff of"The Southern Literary Messenger

"of Richmond,

with an annual salary of five hundred and twenty

dollars. And now with an assured living, Poe mar-

ried his"starry-eyed

"little cousin, Virginia Clemm,

who had always fascinated him and who was now

just fourteen, and his devotion to his child-wife is

one of the noblest things in his character. And suc-

cess came to him; he was asked for all the short

stories he could write; and as they appeared, they

won many readers by their striking vigour and

novelty and their weird, imaginative power.Poe was an artist in rhetorical form, and in his edi-

torial work proved a keen critic of current literature.

He was really the first to emphasise this form of writ-

ing. Book after book was sent him for review, and

he naturally exposed many pretentious humbugs, who

claimed to be men of letters. But he was too much

of a free lance, allowing personal feelings to influence

his mood, and so he made enemies. He took savage

delight in slashing criticisms of his famous contem-

poraries; for one, he attacked Longfellow ;while


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Longfellow read and admired Poe. As for Gris-

wold, the



Poets andPoetry

of Amer-

ica," he lashed his work so severely that Gris-

wold revenged himself; for when, after Poe's death,

he compiled his works, he appended to them such a

distorted, malicious biography, that although many

of his statements have been contradicted by later re-

viewers, it is difficult even yet to be sure of the true

facts about Poe.

But whatever mistakes Poe made, he worked with

rapidity on tales, critiques, and poems; and the maga-

zine grew in importance, lengthening its list of sub-

scribers. He had a happy home with loving wife

and mother-in-law, and was much honoured in Rich-

mond society, and the world enjoyed and compli-

mented his works.

Suddenly he let fortune slip again; perhaps his

petty, quarrelsome temper was the cause - -perhaps

too much conviviality-- but in 1837, we ^n<^ mm

homeless and struggling for means of subsistence.

He removed to Philadelphia, where he sometimes

worked as a sort of hack-writer, again as editor, and

here, in a luxurious Southern home he produced his

most original work,"Tales of the Grotesque and

Arabesque." Poe always made it easy to break his

engagements, and in 1844, he left Philadelphia for

New York, where he remained for the last five years

of his short life. Here, too, for his brilliant reputa-

tion, he was received into the select literary coterie.


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EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)

With artists and men of letters he was a frequent

guest,at the

gatheringsat the home of Miss Anna C.

Lynch, in Waverley Place, and sometimes he brought

his wife. N. P. Willis, the sentimental poet and

graceful prose-writer, befriended him and finally as-

sociated him with himself on"The Evening Mir-


;he was, also, at one time editor of The

Broadway Journal," and occasionally, took the lec-

ture platform.

Yet we may not linger over his successes, for an-

other conflict is just before him for now his health

was shattered by bad habits and overwork, and his

wife was dying of consumption. Feeling the need

of country air, they removed in 1847, to a tmv cot~

tage of four rooms, in Fordham. It still stands

there, opposite Poe Park, and on its exterior is a

big, black raven, and a tablet marked, "Here Poe


Mrs. Clemm was the presiding genius, and neverwas mother-in-law rewarded by sweeter tribute than

that which Poe dedicated to her as"Mother." She

deserved it for she gave her life to her two children:

marketing, cooking, searching the waste-basket for

manuscripts which she tried to sell, buying clothes

and gloves and cravats for her " Eddie " as she al-

ways called Poe; but the family grew poorer and

poorer, and sometimes when there was no money,

Poe, after seeking for work, would walk all the way

home from New York, proudly, too, with head erect.


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He watched by the bedside of his child-wife as she



and in the bleakwinter,

in their desti-

tution, he tried to keep her warm, covering her with

his great coat and the family cat.

Bunner has perpetuated the dreary Fordham home

in a poem from which we quote :-

"Here lived the soul enchanted

By melody of song;

Here dwelt the spirit haunted

By a demoniac throng;

Here sang the lips elated;

Here grief and death were sated;

Here loved and here unmated

Was he, so frail, so strong."

After the death of his wife, Poe more than ever

yielded to despair and opiates. Vain and passionate,

he believed in himself, and felt himself the victim of

circumstances rather than wrong-doing. He had

like a spoiled child, always begging for more; and

drifted from one friend and one purpose to another

yet he once said:"My life has been whim impulse

passion-- a longing for solitude a scorn of all

things present, in an earnest desire for the future."

His idolised Virginia was the inspiration of his

"Annabel Lee"; and of"Eulalie

"the only

poem that he wrote in 1847 ^ ts wandering lines

beginning :-


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EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)

"I dwelt alone

Ina world of

moan,And my soul was a stagnant tide,

Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became

My blushing bride"

We may touch but lightly on the facts of Poe's

own death, which occurred on October seventh, 1849.

Perhaps he was preparing to marry again and per-

haps he had just been refused. In passing through

Baltimore, he was found unconscious in the street, and

carried to the Marine Hospital where he died. His

funeral was attended by only eight persons. One

was a veiled old woman who was often seen later,

mourning at his grave.

This grave was unmarked for twenty-five years,

and then when the facts of Poe's life were more and

more lost in recognition of his supernatural tales and

emotional poems, the teachers of the Baltimore

schools had a memorial slab placed over it, and on

November seventeenth, 1875, in the presence of a

large assembly- - in which were Walt Whitman and

other poets it was consecrated to Poe"so frail,

so strong."

Ourspecial concern, however,

is with Poe'sworks,

which form striking contrast to his vacillating career.

Hawthorne and Poe stand together as our first bril-

liant tellers of the short story. Hawthorne dwelt on

conscience and moral beauty Poe on weird, pas-


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sionate conceits. In his tales there is usually a


figure, which, bythe

way,often re-

sembles his own personality. The people that move

in some of the plots are often in most unearthly guise

- so that nothing stands out distinctly. Again there

is a secret combining of the strange and terrible,

which is skilfully unravelled. Some call Poe our

finest writer of detective stories surely he wasour earliest.

Not what he thought with his natural mind, but

gloomy forms that came to him when under the in-

fluence of opium, may have inspired him as they did

Coleridge. There are so many masterpieces that

we may not mention all. Among those most read


"William Wilson,"

"The Pit and

the Pendulum," and"Hans Pfaall," whose hero

journeys with his cat, in a balloon, to the moon.

"Murders in the Rue Morgue," translated into

French, made France rate Poe most highly.

" The Fall of the House of Usher "is typical of

his style. Here air and landscape are in harmony

with the gloom and horror of the scene: "the wild

light, the blood-red moon, the fierce breath of the

whirlwind, the mighty walls rushing asunder, the


shoutinglike the voice of a thousand

waters the deep and dark tarn closing suddenly

and silently over the fragments of the'

House of

Usher' - with such productions, Poe, conjuror-like,

enchanted his readers.


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EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)

Let us turn to his unique poetry. Incapable of

sustained effort in verse as well as in prose, he did

not believe in a long poem. The few brief ones,

known to everybody, are unlike those of any other

poet of his time. His minstrel harp was his pride.

(To him poetry was"the rhythmical creation of

beauty.^ He caught his colouring from the South,

from Europe, and the Orient, and he embodies in his

verses ethereal and exquisite strains. Refrain and

repetend and onomatopoeia are among his rare

powers the latter best shown in"The Bells."

While Holmes and others of his group paid tribute



perfectlydeified women.


that most influenced him were Mrs. Browning,

through her poems; Mrs. Whitman, the poetess, and

the literary Mrs. Osgood; and to the last two he

ever turned for sympathy.

His beautiful but incomprehensible"


his favourite among his works. This was suggested

by a line from the Koran, describing'

the angel

Israfel, whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has

the sweetest voice of all God's creatures." It seems

as if in the last stanza, more than any other, Poe

soared to his highest expression:

"If I could dwell

Where Israfel

Hath dwelt, and he where I,

He might not sing so wildly well


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A mortal melody,

While a bolder note than this might swell

From my lyre within the sky."

And there is" The Raven," popular at home and

abroad. The self-possessed fowl,'

Once upon a

midnight dreary," started him by its"tapping, gently

tapping," entered his chamber, perched upon a bust

of Pallas, and in reply to all his questioning, uttered

the solemn dirge"Never - - Nevermore !


When Poe had completed the poem, he read it to

a friend, and then asked him what he thought of it,

and the answer was:"

I think it uncommonly fine."




"is that all


sayof it?

It is the greatest poem ever written, sir 1


Poe liked

to recite it, and in his melodious voice, he gave it in-

describable charm, and one could never forget his

plaintive"Nevermore 1'

"The Raven

"was written, in 1845, m New York,

and he received for it ten dollars, but - - more than

any other poem- - it brought him immediate fame.

It was copied far and wide and much used as a school

recitation. The poets read and pondered it, and

Lowell, in his"Fable for Critics



There comes Poe with his Raven, like Barnaby Rudge,Three-fifths of him genius, and two-fifths sheer fudge."

"The Raven

"though somewhat hard to interpret

- will always have an abiding place in our literature.


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EDGAR ALLAN FOE (1809-1849)

Abroad it was considered Poe's supreme effort; in-

deed, his tales and


are more honoured in

Europe than those of many of our authors. Tenny-

son ranked him "the greatest American genius";

and Victor Hugo,"The Prince of American Litera-

ture." And to-day everywhere one thinks more of his

writings and less of his sad life.

On account of his poetic and Platonic affection for

women, the fair sex has done much to increase his

fame. A Woman's Club, in Baltimore, is about to

erect a heroic statue to Poe. It is to be a seated

figure, representing him in an inspired attitude, and

to be carved by the noted sculptor, Ezekiel.

Owing to controversy, regarding his life and writ-

ings, it was not until 1910 that the New York"Hall

of Fame"opened its doors to Poe. In the Metro-

politan Museum, there is a memorial tablet, in-



He was great in his genius, unhappy in his life, wretched

in death, and in his fame he is immortal."

What shall be our verdict?


It was many and many a year ago

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee;

And this maiden she lived with no other thougnt

Than to love and be loved by me.


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I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea,

But we loved with a love that was more than love,

I and my Annabel Lee;

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsmen came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we,

Of many far wiser than we;

And neither the angels in heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling my darling my life and my bride,

In her sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea.



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EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)



"Hear the sledges with the bells,

Silver bells!

What a world of merriment their melody foretells-1

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

In the icy air of night!

While the stars, that oversprinkle

All the heavens, seem to twinkle

With a crystalline delight;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.



Hear the mellow wedding bells,

Golden bells!

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!

Through the balmy air of night

How they ring out their delight!

From the molten-golden notes,

And all in tune,

What a liquid ditty floats

To the turtle-dove thatlistens,

while shegloats

On the moon !

Oh, from out the sounding cells,

What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!

How it swells!

How it dwells


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On the Future! how it tells

Of the rapture that impels

To the swinging and the ringing

Of the bells, bells, bells,

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!


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POE'S name is, thus far, the greatest in Southern lit-

erature, and in the colouring of his tales and the

music of his verse, he shows many touches of the

Southland. His life, however, seems to relate itself

more to the North but as we have said, he stands

apart from any group. Before considering other in-

dividual lives, we look briefly at the conditions that

existed in the South before the Civil War.There was no public school system; the wealthy

employed tutors, or sent their children abroad to be

educated. There were no great publishing-houses;

no literary centres as Philadelphia, New York, Bos-

ton, or Concord. Puritanism and Transcendentalism

were almost unknown. The hum of the mill and the

factory was not often heard and there was little com-

mercialism. The hospitable plantation mansion was

presided over by the cordial but aristocratic gentle-

man. Its spirit imitated that of English rural life,



English manners and English liter-

ature was most popular.

The pride of the South lay in her long line of

orators and statesmen, and the famous documents and

addresses that she had given to the Union in its


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formative period. Virginia laid stress upon being"The Mother of Presidents." So law and oratory

and politics belonged to Southern traditions, rather

than American literature, which was somewhat ig-

nored, being considered trashy. One subject, how-

ever, was of such vital import that it was constantly

discussed, and this was the institution of slavery. It

came increasingly to the fore; the Northerners de-

claimed against it so fiercely that the Southerners

must needs wonder what they would better do with it;

and we have spoken in a previous chapter of the ora-

tory to which this gave rise.

But there were a few writers of note on other sub-

jects; among them, John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-

1870), a brilliant statesman and one of our earliest

novelists, who, in his books, happily reproduced an

era that has gone. In his"Horse-shoe Robinson,"

he enlarges on the traditions of South Carolina and

Revolutionary days; while his 'Swallow Barn'

photographs the customs of a Virginia plantation, at

the end of the eighteenth century."The aristo-

cratic old edifice sets like a brooding-hen, on the

Southern bank of the James River'

and in typical

Southern style. Kennedy describes as follows the

master's dress as he rides to the court-house :


He is then apt to make his appearance in a coat of blue

broadcloth, astonishingly glossy, and with an unusual amount

of plaited ruffles strutting through the folds of a Marseilles


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waistcoat. A worshipful finish is given to this costume by

a large straw hat, lined with green silk. There is a magis-

terial fulness in his garments which betokens conditions in

the world, and a heavy bunch of seals, suspended by a

chain of gold, jingles as he moves, pronouncing him a man

of superfluities."

Another writer of this period was William Gil-

more Simms (1806-1870), the alert Charleston

author, who aspired to lay the foundation of a dis-

tinct Southern literature. He made his home the

centre of a group of ambitious young men of letters,

and he begged them to work and hold together until

the world should acknowledge their achievements.

It is well that he could not then foresee the blight

that the Civil War would cast over their brave


Simms was an indefatigable writer of thirty novels

and seventeen volumes of poetry, besides plays, his-

torical essays, and political pamphlets. His novelswhich are all that live to-day are very diverse. He

made good historical backgrounds; his scenery was

picturesque; but his style was pompous, and his finish

rough and careless. Feuds and intrigues and mas-

sacres and block-house fights took part in the quick

action of his plots. He so often introduced the In-

dian that he is styled"The Cooper of the South."

His best tale, "The Yemassee," written in 1835,

furnishes a striking picture of the Southern wilderness,


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in which is an uprising of real, wide-awake Indians.

Among his other works, are"The Partisan,"

" Donna Florida," and " The Damsel of Darien."

Whenever he had finished a book, he was obliged to

take a sea-voyage from Charleston to New York in

order to arrange with a publisher. The war ruined

his prospects, and destroyed his lovely country home,'

Woodlands,"where for

years generous hospitalityhad been dispensed. Boys yet eagerly read Simms's

adventures, which bring anew an interesting era of

nearly a century ago; and he must be regarded the

pioneer and patron of early Southern literature.

Two of the members of the literary group in Charles-

ton of which he was the genius were Timrodand Hayne.

Henry Timrod (1829-1867), was one of the most

finely endowed of Southern poets. As an editor in

Columbia, his printing-office was demolished in Sher-

man's"March to the Sea "; but it is as the lyrist of

love and war and Nature that he displays his clear-

ness and simplicity of utterance. Among his ring-

ing war lyrics are"The Call to Arms




;and their strain is as direct and lofty an ex-

pression of Southern sentiment as some of Whittier's

are of Northern. His finest ode was written for the

decoration of the soldiers' graves in Magnolia Ceme-

tery. His spontaneous Nature passion, he has shown

in several poems of singular beauty. Here is a

stanza to Spring:


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"In the deep heart of every forest tree 2

The blood is all aglee,

And there's a look about the leafless bowers

As if they dreamed of flowers."

Timrod's life was brief, and the two years left him

after the war was over, were but a struggle with

hopeless illness and dire poverty.

Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830-1886), is ranked

"The Laureate of the South." With a beautiful

home, embracing a fine library every social advan-

tage that aristocratic Charleston could offer and an

ample fortune he found it easy to devote his talents

to literature. He was selectedas

thefirst editor of

"Russell's Magazine," which, launched in Simms's

library, was intended to equal in popularity The

Edinburgh Review." Hayne was also the author of

many forms of verse all of them correct in metre

and profusely figurative. Indeed, in every way, a

bright career seemed opening out before him. Then

the war came, and he served in the field until too ill

either to march or to fight, and at its close, his health

was shattered and his fortune lost. To gain support

and vigour, he fashioned in the Pine Barrens of


a rude hut, like that of Thoreau,

at Walden Pond. He planted flowers and fruits,

and"Copse Hill

"was the gathering-place for his

admiring friends.

With a courageous soul, he turned his thoughts


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to Nature, working to the end, on legends and lyrics,

for which he found inspiration right about his forest

home - - in violet orlily,

or pine-cone, or lake or

storm. The song of the mocking-bird allured him

as that of the lark did Shelley- - for he tells how its

". . . love notes fill the enchanted land;

Through leaf-wroughtbars

theystorm the


These love-songs of the mocking-birds !



' When the winds are whist,

He follows his mateto their

sunset tryst,

Where the wedded myrtles and jasmine twine,

Oh ! the swell of his music is half divine !


We have already referred to another poet, Father

Ryan, who as chaplain in the Confederate army

voiced his attachmentto

the South. His

"Sword of

Robert Lee'

is a stirring battle-cry, while'


Conquered Banner"

is an"eloquent lament


defeat. Indeed, Ryan has been called"The Laure-

ate of the Lost Cause." Some of his poems, however,

are deeply religious; and there was, also, Father

Tabb, who served in the Confederate army, was

taken prisoner, and placed in Point Lookout. Later,

he was ordained a priest of the Roman Church and

became a teacher in St. Charles College, Maryland.


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During his last years he was blind, and his stanzas of

rarely more than eight lines are becoming generally

known and winning favour. In these, he gives artis-

tic expression to a single thought, either grave or gay.

As one has said:"These little lyrics flew like song-

birds from his seclusion"; and they are well worth

memorising, as for example :

'The waves forever move;

The hills forever rest;

Yet each the heavens approve,

And love alike hath blessed.

A Martha's household care,

A Mary's cloistered prayer."

Another one"Solitude


"Like as a brook that all night long

Sings, as at noon, a babble song

To sleep's unheeding ear,

The poet to himself must sing,

When none but God is listening

The lullaby to hear."

And how sweetly he proclaims his simple Creed

in his poem, "The Christ":


Thou hast on earth a Trinity,

Thyself, my fellow-man, and me;

When one with him, then one with Thee;

Nor, save together, Thine are we."


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Of this band of Southland poets, Sidney Lanier

(1842-1881), ranks next to Poe in his ideals and

poetic impulse; but his life-story has in it the same

pathos that belongs to the lives of Timrod and Hayne

the desolation of Civil War, and the later almost

despairing conflict with feebleness and lack of means.

He was born in Macon, Georgia, on February third,


and claimed a musicalancestry,

even as far

back as Queen Elizabeth. So it was natural that

even before he could read well, he could improvise

upon the flute, guitar, piano and organ and he

might have included the violin, had not his father

discovered that its music affected him strangely.

He graduated at Oglethorpe College, and feeling

called to a literary career, he was hoping for a year

abroad at a German university. But he was sud-

denly awakened from his dreams by the opening guns

of the Civil War. Responding to the appeals of im-

passioned orators as the war fever swept over the

Southern States, he joined the Confederate army.

Three times he was offered promotion, but preferred

to remain with a younger brother who enlisted with

him. Finally, he was captured and imprisoned in

Point Lookout; but he carried with him his beloved

flute concealed in his sleeve, and with it he enlivened

many tedious hours for the other prisoners, during

the five months he was held here. On his release,

he made way on foot to his home in Macon. He

was an excellent critic and in his novel,"Tiger


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Lilies," he later gave his war impressions; and he

never recovered from the hard conditions that he had


After the war, he was at one time a clerk, at an-

other he studied law with his father, for he said that

he had to win bread for his family while a thousand

songs were ringing in his heart. When he could no

longerendure such an



takinghis flute

and pen for sword and staff," he went to live in Balti-

more, for there he could listen to orchestras and

browse on libraries. Music and poetry were his

two master passions. The rest of his life he con-

tended against poverty and the ravages of consump-


He was one of the marvellous flute-players of

America, and as a flutist won his way everywhere,

and soon obtained a position in the Peabody Orches-

tra. He was greatly attracted to such music, and

formed a scheme for travelling orchestras so that

young people might be educated to an appreciation of

the finest symphonies.

He read and studied and wrote so diligently that

he was soon known in Baltimore as a man of letters.

He loved quaint and curious bits of literature and

embodied them in books for boys. Among themwere

"The Boy's King Arthur,"

"The Boy's Percy,"

and( '

The Boy's Froissart." He also wrote excel-

lent critical studies on English verse and the English



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Like Timrod and Hayne, Lanier is filled with the

spirit of the Southland. His poetic themes are love,

Nature, and faith, and in remarkable feeling for tone

and colour, expressed in felicitous words. His

poems are among the rarest in our literature, and a

few extracts are chosen:

"Music is love in search of a word."

"His song was only living aloud,

His work, a singing with his hands."


Thou'rt only a grey and sober dove,

But thine eye is faith and thy wing is love."

His " Corn " which is full of " green things grow-


has often been counted his master-song, for

when it came out in"Lippincott's," in 1874, it drew

attention to his other poetry.

We seldom find a Southern robin in literature;but

Lanier, in'

lyrical outburst," writes his'





The robin laughed in the orange-tree ;


Ho, windy North, a fig for thee:

While breasts are red and wings are bold

And green trees wave us globes of gold,

Time's scythe shall reap but bliss for meSunlight, song, and the orange-tree.


I'll south with the sun and keep my clime;

My wing is king of the summer-time;


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My breast to the sun his torch shall hold;

And I'll call down through the green and gold,

Time, take thy scythe, reap bliss for me,

Bestir thee under the orange-treeJ"

Would we know of Lanier's euphony, read a

stanza from his"Song of the Chattahoochee," which

ripples and flows along like Tennyson's"Brook


"Out of the hills of Habersham,

Down the valleys of Hall,

I hurry amain to reach the plain,

Run the rapid and leap the fall,

Split at the rock and together again,

Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,And flee from folly on every side,

.With a lover's pain to attain the plain,

Far from the hills of Habersham,

Far from the valleys of Hall."

In his"Ballad of Trees and the Master," Lanier

shows his power in religious verse. In this he rever-

ently touches the life of our Lord, in his dramatic

presentation of the scenes in Gethsemane and on

Calvary; while his noblest poem, "The Marshes of

Glynn," manifests in sweeping and rhythmic metre,

his earnest faith in God. In all Lanier'swritings,

one detects his intense love of beauty and his attempt

to correlate music and poetry.

He received the appointment of lecturer on Eng-lish literature in Johns Hopkins University, Balti-


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more, but he could not hold it long on account of fail-

ing strength; and he travelled much but he grew

weaker and weaker. The glow of sunrise had ever

been in his poems"Sunrise

"was his swan-song,

and thus it ended:


The sun is brave, the sun is bright,

The sun is lord of love and light,

But after him it cometh night"

and his short, troubled life closed on September

seventh, 1881.

The names of Timrod, Hayne, and Lanier, will

have lastingplace

in every anthology of American

men of letters, by reason of their pure and elevating

gifts, and the sadness and courage of their lives.

Lanier believed implicitly that his Southland would

be redeemed; but he could not in most eager vision

have prophesied the wondrous evolution of the New

South. Here plough and mill and factory are busily

at work. Public schools are established all over the

land, and everywhere cities are rapidly growing.

And what wonderful strides have been made in liter-

ary progress enough to satisfy the most wide-awake

reader. Our story does not concern living authors,

else we should dwell upon the fascinating masters ot

the story that perhaps first caught their genius for

construction from Edgar Poe. Vivid and romantic

pictures there are of quaint 'Old Creole Days";


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"The Grandissimes


is replete with episode and

mirth;"Dr. Sevier

"is delicate and artistic.

Lovable " Uncle Remus " introduces us to " Brer

Rabbit,""Brer Fox


"Brer B'ar," who fas-

cinate us alike with folk-lore and philosophy."In

Ole Virginia"we read of plantation life during the

war. Who does not know"Marse Chan



Another lures us away into the remote wilds of the

Tennessee mountains, and lets us into the secrets of

a gloomy and powerful race;and then we may emerge

into the broad sunshine of the Kentucky"blue-grass


listen to the song of the cardinal, and revel

in the witchery of meadows and hempfields, sunny

skies, and wild forests, as pictured in the sketches of

its literary artist. Maurice Thompson speaks of the

South as the land

. . whose gaze is cast

No more upon the past."


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VERY like the New England colonists were the self-


pioneersof the West,


shoulder to

shoulder, with push and energy, following the trail

over the aboriginal mountains or through the dense

woods, fighting Indians or wild beasts, mining for

gold, or building camps and towns and their as-

sertive, democratic character is seen in the books of

their authors as in the speeches of their political lead-

ers; and while in the South, we have the note of the

lyrist or the romancer, in the West, we may gather

tales of bold and picturesque adventure.

With scant traditions and few high schools, the

busy West made a tardy beginning in literature, but

its growth has been unchecked, until to-day as we fol-

low the sweep of civilisation across our broad land,

we find an unbroken line of authors. We study the

lives of some of these to learn what has been accom-


First, there is Bret Harte (1839-1902), who is a

kind of historian of an early era, for his renown rests

on his making California life - - in phases both good

and bad known to the world in the days of the

modern Argonauts. The son of a Greek professor


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of Albany, New York, he was deemed a precocious

rather than a scholarly boy; but even at seven, he

pored over Dickens, just because he liked his way of

saying things. As he older grew, visions of golden

air-castles floated before him as he marvelled at the

almost unbelievable stories that came to the East

of the finds of California stories that lured many


to the then distant Pacific coast.

When he was fifteen, his father having died, he

took his mother and started West to pick up a for-

tune ready to his hand. What unusual scenes must

have opened on the eyes of both mother and son

when they reached California, coming as they did

from dignified, conservative Albany ! For they were

at once face to face with novel and chaotic social con-

ditions; this sparsely-settled land of majestic moun-

tains, primeval forests, rugged canyons, and flashing

sea-coast, had been suddenly altered into a very wild-

wood of freedom.

Few women were to be seen; but thousands of men

in red shirts and high-topped boots were digging for

gold; some of them heroic men, delving with restless,

homesick energy for a hoard just large enough to

transport their families thither. Rugged workmen,

too, there were; and vagabonds and fugitives from

justice and they varied the digging by gambling

and duelling and much easy sword practice.

But Harte did not, at once, enter into his"El

Dorado." After a time his mother married again.


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He made many ventures, he policed the safes of the


Wells andFargo Express Company


bandits;he was, in turn, collector, druggist, school-teacher,

and secretary of the mint, and finally from being a

printer, he graduated into editorial work, and was

one of a group of young journalists- -

among them

was Mark Twain -- all full of hope in the future;

and Harte was later made editor of the newly-started"Overland Monthly."

His various occupations had taken him all over the

country, and with rare mimetic quality and keen sen-

sitiveness for the spectacular, he had collected ma-

terials for many short stories, and these were his gold

mines which he profitably worked for years. They

were not like those of Dickens but written in the same

sympathetic spirit- - and with Irving, Poe, and Haw-

thorne, he is conspicuous among our creators of the

short story. His style is individual and he has an

astounding vocabulary. Most of his characters are

apprehended with realistic humour and pathos, from

real life.

After several of Harte's books had been published

and welcomed, it was suggested that they would be

even more telling, if he would try romance. Then

The Luck of Roaring Camp



characterisation was so rough and unusual that it was

severely criticised, but it attracted notice everywhere,

and"The Atlantic

"immediately asked for another

story after the same manner. This gave Bret Harte


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reputation for his tales, while"The Heathen

Chinee," somewhat later, made his name as a

humourous poet.

At this period, Chinese"cheap labour

"was the

war-cry and" He went for the Heathen Chinee !


and immortalised him. Many other poems of

Harte's are very popular; so, as well, are his prose

tales, for he was an incessant writer. He had no

rival in his descriptions of old California sights and

sounds. Sometimes he delivered lectures; the one

most often heard was"The Argonauts of Forty-

nine." But slow of thought and speech, he cared

little for lecturing.

A man of strong impulse, he was weak in charac-

ter; he was true to a present friend while ignoring an

absent one. He was uncertain in keeping appoint-,

ments and most improvident in financial concerns;

there was a vein of satire in his editorial columns that

grew more evident; he did not hold his own in the

world of letters; and after a few years, he lost favour

in San Francisco. He came East and wrote for

"The Atlantic


and other periodicals. He lived

an irregular life, always beyond his income, and

finally, in 1878, left his family to accept the consulate

at Crefeld, Germany, and was soon transferred to

Glasgow, Scotland; but he was"a wandering comet


he did not meet his duties squarely and was

presently removed from the consular service.

However, as a polished gentleman and a man of


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letters, he was taken more seriously in England than

elsewhere. England liked his books, placed them

on her book-shelves, and highly estimated their

author. And in England he spent his later years and

died, in 1902, at Camberly, Surrey. And Wood-

berry says :

' He had no rival and left no successor. His work is as

unique as that of Poe or Hawthorne."

From Bret Harte's career, it is pleasant to review

that of Eugene Field (1850-1895), for he is the

laureate that the Middle West has given to children.

His first leaning towards literature came to him

when as a little boy in St. Louis, his grandmother

made him write sermons, and paid him ninepence

for every one that he wrote. He was very carefully

educated but he could not graduate at college, for

his father died and the money gave out. But he was

soon hard at work at journalism and finally settled in

Chicago, engaged on the editorial staff of'


Daily News."

He describes as follows the romance of his life:

" A little bit of a woman came

Athwart my path one day;

That little bit of a woman cast

Her two eyes full on me,


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Copyright, 19U6, by 1'ach Bros., N. V,






- *

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And they smote me sore to my inmost core

And they held me slaved forevermore,

Yet would I not be free.

And I'm proud to say that I bless the day

When a little woman wrought her way

Into this life of mine!"

And in Chicago, this winsome man and his family

were perfectly idolised. He was the leader of"The

Saints' and Sinners' Club," the"Saints

"being three

Chicago clergymen. He illustrated manuscripts for

his friends and in many directions interested them in

literature. He treasured his books, using the gentlest

touch in opening and closing them. He was a gath-

erer of rare editions :

"Such as bibliophiles adore

Books and prints in endless store

Treasures singly or in sets."

His poems and prose later have won alike the

hearts of grown-ups and children; but especially to

the latter, he dedicated exquisite lines and how

they, in return, lavished upon him their affection. To

assist in his


keptin his

librarya curious col-

lection of toys and trinkets and dolls and animals;


each spinster doll, and each toy animal and

each tin soldier, had a part to play in some poem."

The best-known of his works are" A Little Book of


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Western Verse," and" A Little Book of Profitable

Tales," and a


ofjuveniles appear

in these.

Who that has read it can ever forget"

Little Boy

Blue "? Or who can overlook the moral so pathet-

ically emphasised in that"

little peach of emerald


that dawned on the sight of Johnny Jones and

his sister Sue?

"John took a bite and Sue a chew,

And then the trouble began to brew,

Trouble the doctor couldn't subdue,

Too true!

Under the turf where the daisies grew,

They planted John and his sister Sue,

And their little souls to the angels flew,

Boo hoo!"

Field hoped to write a"Modern Mother Goose,"

founded upon Indian folk-lore, but this he was un-

able to do.

He was a universal joker, and he had great powerof adaptation, even to taking the epitaph on Shakes-

peare's tomb and fitting it as follows to his own por-

trait, and as an advertisement for his works :

"Sweete friends, for mercy's sake forbeare

To criticise ys visage here;

But reade my bookes

Which, spite my lookes

Ben fulle of mightie plaisaunt cheere."

Another like Bret Harte, to preserve contemporary


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life in the West, was Samuel J. Clemens, so familiarly

known as Mark Twain, the celebrated humourist,

standing perhaps above, and separate from the other

two. Born in Missouri, he spent his boyhood in

Hannibal. Possibly he would not have called this so


a loafy, down-at-the heel, slave-holding

Mississippi town," if he could have imagined that,

in 1912, his first home would be presented to the city

by Mr. and Mrs. George A. Mahan; and accom-

panied by a bas-relief portrait, and a memorial tablet,

which bears these words:

"Mark Twain's life teaches that poverty is an incentive

rather than a bar, and that any boy, however humble his

birth and surroundings, may by honesty and industry ac-

complish great things."

Samuel's father died when he was but twelve, and

he left school to become a printer, a vocation which

he pursued in different places for eight years; and


the words of others led him to the desire of

being an author himself, and yet his strongest am-

bition wyas to serve as pilot on the Mississippi ;and

when the opportunity came, he gladly quit printing,

and hoped to live a pilot and die at the wheel, but

during the war, the river lost its commerce.

He next went to visit Nevada, the land of outlaws,

mining-camps, and murders. He did not escape the

mining fever and journeyed to California - -then wan-

dered away to the Sandwich Islands. In San Fran-

cisco, he reported for a newspaper; his humourous


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sketches brought him into notice, and he began to lec-

ture. Later, he travelled in Europe,Egypt,

and the

Holy Land. Then as partner in a publishing-house

that failed, he lost every cent of his well-earned for-

tune; and like Walter Scott, in similar emergency, he

assumed the whole debt and wrote untiringly until he

had paid every penny of the firm's indebtedness. In

his lastyears, Mark Twain lived in Hartford, Con-

necticut, where he and his wife entertained delight-

fully, and yet a later home was at Redding, not very

far distant.

The bare facts of this life do not sound literary,

but few Americans hold a more secure place in the

affection of readers of all classes than Mark Twain;and we have hurried over the plain facts that we maytake a second view from a literary standpoint, and

first as to his early scholarly preferences, and these

they were :


I like history, biography, travels, curi-

ous facts and strange happenings, and science; and

I detest novels, poetry, and theology." His views

certainly changed in time at least in regard to


In the beginning, he wrote much for boys : for fol-

lowing in the steps of T. B. Aldrich's"Bad Boy," his

Tom Sawyer"




embodyexperiences of his boyhood.

" Tom Sawyer"

is a

tale of his days spent at a wretched Western school,

and into it, are woven Indians and witches and charms,

a maiden, a bit of camp life all actual scenes en-


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acted by wide-awake boys; while "Huckleberry

Finn" "

The Odyssey of the Mississippi"


the interest by the novelty of its incidents. Perhaps

the vital one is when Huck debates with himself

whether it is his duty to save Jim, the runaway slave,

or to deliver him to his master."Huckleberry


is Mark Twain's classic.

His"Stories of the

Mississippi Valley

"form an

amusing fragment of his own autobiography. Over

and over he heard the sounder cry out"mark twain !


as the lead drops two fathoms, and in this quaint,

practical phrase originated his pen-name. He had a

knack as a pilot of picking up all sorts of specimens of

human nature, and presenting them to the reader; and

the"Father of Waters

"itself, here and elsewhere

in his books, inspired him as the Hudson inspired Irv-


After his extensive travels, he wrote his' '


cents Abroad," and afterwards his'



;the former specially is inexpressibly funny

with the pretensions of some of the"Innocents


their absurd situations and as long as the world

laughs, it will be popular. It has been published in

several languages, and rewarded its author with fame

and fortune."Pudd'nhead Wilson

"is a slave story with a most

philosophic hero.

Twain's"Jumping Frog

''- known to everybody

- was written in San Francisco. Bret Harte said

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that it never could be so funny to anyone as to him

when Mark Twain repeated it in his drawling tones.

There is much beauty and a stern sense of justice in

his"Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc." His

English stories,'

The Prince and the Pauper," and' A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court,"

are placed against carefully studied backgrounds.

To call

Mark Twain justahumourist would be as

one has said to describe Shakespeare as a strolling-

player. Back of his humour are always the philoso-

pher and reformer. He loved to hit hard at hypocrisy

and every insincerity, and admired noble character.

As to his emphatic style, he had a saying:"As to the

adjective, when in doubt, strike it out!" And yet

with Franklin, Holmes, and Lowell, his humour was

most genial, even though the underlying purpose was


Many Clemensesque experiences might be re-

corded, did space permit. The accompanying one is

pleasing or trying, which ever we choose to think it:

One morning going to breakfast before his wife,

he discovered at her plate a bulky envelope bearing

foreign stamps. His curiosity overcame him; he

opened it to find a detailed account of his own death

and burial in Australia, and a note of condolence

to Mrs. Clemens. The description was so touching

that it moved him to tears, and later when he was in

Australia, he visited the tomb of the impostor who

had impersonated him there.


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And in closing, just one reference to his unswerving

love to his family, as evinced when he had the fol-

lowing epitaph by Robert Richardson placed over his

daughter's grave :

* Warm Summer sun,

Shine kindly here,

Warm Southern wind

Blow softly here,

Green sod above

Lie light, lie light,

Good night, dear heart,

Good night, good night."

He founded at Redding, a public library, and since

his death Mr. Andrew Carnegie has made this self-

supporting, to be known for ever as"The Mark

Twain Memorial Library."

Of Mark Twain, Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke has

written :


Those who know the story of his friendship and his

family life know that he was one who'

loved much'


faithfully, even unto the end. Those who know his work

as a whole know that under the lambent and irrepressible

humour which was his gift there was a foundation of seri-

ous thought and noble affections and desires."

And out of the new West have come other writers.

Among them, Edward Eggleston, the editor, novelist,

and itinerant preacher, who, in his Hoosier stories,

has made us acquainted with picturesque characters

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and log-cabin life. And if we would seek a master-

bard,"The Poet of the Sierras

"has long stood apart

like a mountain peak, giving to the world from time

to time glimpses of wild beauty and rugged grandeur

as ta has written of Western scenery and people; and

he yet lives to reminisce of the early California days.

And now some of our best poets and historians and

novel-writers are in the Western States. As trulyas

"Westward the course of Empire holds its way


so truly,"Westward the course of literature shall

hold its way."


(Dutch Lullaby.)


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night

Sailed off in a wooden shoe,

Sailed on a river of crystal light,

Into a sea of dew.'

Where are you going, and what do you wish ?'

The old moon asked the three.

' We have come to fish for the herring-fish

That live in this beautiful sea;

Nets of silver and gold have we!'

Said Wynken,


And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song1


As they rocked in the wooden shoe,

And the wind that sped them all night long

Ruffled the waves of dew.


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The little stars were the herring-fish

That lived in the beautiful sea


Now cast your nets wherever you wish,

Never afeared are we!'

So cried the stars to the fishermen three:



And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw

To the stars in the twinkling foam,

Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,

Bringing the fishermen home;

'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed

As if it could not be,

And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed

Of sailing that beautiful sea;

But I shall name you the fishermen three:



And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,

And Nod is a little head.

And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies

Is a wee one's trundle-bed;

So shut your eyes while mother sings

Of wonderful sights that be,

And you shall see the beautiful things

As you rockin

the misty sea,

Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen threes



And Nod."



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IT takes many lives to form a rounded literary tale,

and the following chapter contains a few vignettes of

others who claim mention in our book; most of them

have died so recently that we could not, if we would,

place them in fair perspective. Prominent among

these are Taylor, Crawford, Hale, Stockton, Whit-

man, Stoddard, Stedman, and Aldrich.

Bayard Taylor (1825-1878),was a

Pennsylvaniaboy of Quaker family, of whom a phrenologist early

foretold that his vagabond instincts would control

his life; and with a hundred and forty dollars, a few

newspaper promises, his knapsack and wunderstaff,

he started out at nineteen to fulfil the prophecy; he

spent two years in Europe, tramping over three thou-

sand miles, and learning to live on six cents a day.

This sojourn his biographer calls his"University


On his return, his letters to"The New York Trib-

une"and other papers were collected into a volume,

and readers were enthusiastic over the pluck displayed

in"Views Afoot." One has wondered what he might

have accomplished if he had owned a bicycle for

with feet attached to pedals,"Views A-Bicycle



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would have multiplied his opportunities a hundred-

fold. Then when the

goldfever of

'49 caughtthe

East, he followed the Argonauts to California as cor-

respondent of the"Tribune," and took in Mexico on

the way back.

In later trips, he wandered from Iceland to Cape

of Good Hope, and in the East as far as India, China,

and Japan, always with pen in hand, mastering lan-

guages, wearing native dress, and as far as possible

assimilating native customs. So his travel books are

glowing pictures of actual things, but they are utterly

devoid of the historical setting that would have en-

hanced their value. At one time he was secretary of

the United States legation at St. Petersburg, and he

died in 1878, while on a mission to Germany.

In his writings, he emphasised his love for his early

home, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, by building

there his stately residence"Cedarcroft

";and it is

with this that his novels are associated.


The Storyof Kennett

"is by many ranked his best book. He

acquired extensive knowledge of German classics, and

among his translations, that of Goethe's"Faust


most faithful and sympathetic. He was, also, an in-

teresting lecturer on a wide range of themes, but he

cared not to be noted either as traveller or lecturer,

and his aim was to be a famous poet.

This ideal he never reached; he had lyrical genius

and has written a fair amount of verse - - but he maynot be ranked great; for his versatility hindered con-

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centrated effort, and besides he wasted talent on what

was commonplace. His finest dramatic poem un-

doubtedly is"The Masque of the Gods." His

"Centennial Ode


was read at Philadelphia, in

1876. Among his longer poems is "Lars: a pas-

toral of Norway "; in his lyrics is"The Song of the

Camp," in which are the familiar lines:


The bravest are the tenderest,

The loving are the daring."

His"Bedouin Song," is thought by some to hold its

own among our choicest love lyrics.

This self-made man was master of a score of lan-

guages, and shared fellowship with authors the earth

around, and he wrote more thanfifty books. He is

remembered, however, as poet and translator.

Marion Crawford (1854-1909), the son of a

sculptor, was born in Rome, and spent so much of his

life there and in other foreign cities, that in Italy he

was taken for an Italian in France for a French-

man in Germany for a German. One of the

most prolific of writers, he published in twelve years

twenty-five books his daily output of words being

sometimes six thousand.

His style was free from mannerisms; and always

the cities where he lived, the streets and people and

houses, grew into his pages, and he fearlessly painted

existing conditions. And a wide circle caught the


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T %,



THOMAS BAILEY ALDR1CHCopyright, l>y CnnU & Cameron


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spirit of his intellectual and artistic novels, and as he

owned,"they became in his hands a marketable com-

modity." To characterise his numerous works

would be entirely beyond our scope. His first,


Isaacs," is full of Oriental colouring."The Cigar-

Maker's Romance"

is, perhaps, most perfect in form;

while the"Saracinesca Trilogy," with the scenes laid

in modern Rome, has hosts of readers.

Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), for his opti-

mistic devotion to his native city, has been called" A

Bostonian of Bostonians." For more than fifty

years, he was a prominent Unitarian minister, and

he also showed wonderful versatility as a lecturer,

writer of essays, history and biography, and a mas-

ter-craftsman of short stories. In these, like De

Foe, he made fictitious subjects appear real.

The best illustration of his art is"The Man With-

out a Country." In this, an officer who is being tried

for treasonable conduct curses his nativeland;


this account, he is condemned to spend his life for-

ever at sea, and never in any way to hear the United

States mentioned, or to read a word concerning it.

This story, with its grave moral, was quoted the world

over as true;and appearing as it did in the time of the

Civil War, it did much to quicken the patriotism of

both soldiers and sailors.

And Edward Everett Hale identified himself with

many philanthropic projects. His Waldensian story,'

In His Name," was widely read; while his"Ten


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Times One is Ten," proposing the formation of circles

of"King's Sons



"has carried im-

mense force everywhere, for its motto is: "Look

up and not down; Look forward and not back; Look

out and not in; and lend a hand."

Francis Richard Stockton (1834-1902), another

writer of brief stories, resembles Edward Everett


that he, too, madefiction

seem reality, andyet in his whimsical romances, he stands quite alone.

His fantastic characters, set in the oddest kind of

plots, encounter ridiculous and bewildering experi-

ences; and all are treated with such seriousness and

quiet dignity that as we breathlessly watch absurd peo-

ple do absurd things, for the moment everything be-

comes true. Among Stockton's creations are"The

Casting Away of Mrs. Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine,""The Hundredth Man," and

"The Lady or the


Young people are not usually fascinated with the

problems which Walt Whitman, with keen directness,

presents in his writings; but his name is so noteworthy

among our men of letters that we obey the summons

to glance at his life and work as we pass along. The

literary world is always trying to decide which of the

problematic authors - -Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe,

or Whitman - - ranks highest- - and Whitman (1819-

1892), makes the greatest challenge of them all I

Some regard him a second Homer, and in their Whit-

mania are absorbed in Whitmanesque literature; while


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others are sure that he is but an impostor, forcing his

"Whitmanesque stuff

"upon our bookshelves.

This isolated and eccentric genius was a native of

West Hills, in"fish-shaped

"Long Island, and after

his family moved to Brooklyn, he often returned to his

early home to wander with the fishermen or clam-

diggers, or hay-cutters, or herdsmen; and one of his

chiefpleasures was

to declaimShakespeare


Homerto the sea-gulls or the surf for it goes without say-

ing that he was a literary youth and read everything.

After gaining his education in the Brooklyn pub-

lic schools, he was a teacher and editor in dif-

ferent towns in the island; and in Brooklyn he

was a painter and carpenter, and a writer of edito-


With a passion for crowds, inspiration came to him

as he watched the busy tide, surging up and down the

city streets, and he often haunted ferry-boats, omni-

buses, and theatres, and his companions were drivers,

pilots, and deck-hands. Presently, a strong desire

was in him - - no less than to put on record his own

distinctive personality, and it should be unlike that of

any other American that ever wrote. He changed

his name Walter to"Walt "; assumed an unconven-

tional garb; wore a rough beard; stuck his hat on oneside of his head; and said what he chose. Naturally

such audacity did not pass unheeded.

He began to write his"Leaves of Grass," which

was intended to be an appeal to the masses, but he


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little realised that its profundity was far too great for

his purpose.

Whitman, like Whittier and Thoreau, never went

abroad but travelled widely in the United States and

Canada - -very often as a pedestrian. Once he

halted in New Orleans for a time to do editorial

work. For nearly three years during the Civil War,

he was a volunteer hospital nurse, and he lived on the

coarsest fare that he might give the boys luxuries; and

thousands of those for whom he cared testified to his

tender ministrations. The war stirred his inmost

soul, and in his"Drum-Taps

"is a more human touch

than in any other of his poems.

His dirge written on the death of Lincoln is a per-

fect dirge; and Donald G. Mitchell, after reading it,



If he gathers coarse weeds into his'

Leaves of Grass,'

we forget and forgive when he doffs his cap in reverent and

courtlyfashion to


My Captain.'


Defiant of all laws of conventional life he freed

himself from literary trammels, and felt himself a

reformer, preaching democracy and comradeship.

He is better known as a poet than as a prose-writer,

and with colossal self-confidence announced:


I cele-

brate myself and sing myself." The title"Leaves

of Grass"was given to his collected poems which as

he said were made of"words simple as grass." In


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these idealistic gems scattered here and there, he

discloses his intense fondness for Nature.

In sympathy with every class but the aristocratic,

he knew little of society. He had, however, devoted

literary friends to whom he was"The good grey


-among them, Bryant, Burroughs, and Sted-

man; and the last honoured him with a whole chapter



American Poets


and thus eulogises him:


Blythe prodigal, the rhythm free and strong

Of thy brave voice forecasts our poet's song."

England sees in Whitman our future poet, and this

is because of the warm appreciation of Swinburne and

Tennyson and Symonds.

The venerable poet spent his last days in Camden,

New Jersey, in a dingy little house, whose library

held"the storage collection of his life." In the

town, he was called"Socrates," or as one has dubbed



Mr. Socrates." Everybody knew him and

expected his kind word- -for, after all, he possessed

a curious kind of sociability. Burroughs says:


He is like a mountain;

as you get away from him in

point of time and perspective, the features soften down and

you get the true beauty."

Richard Henry Stoddard (1825-1893), was a poor

Massachusetts boy, who was taken to New York as a

child, and there found his education in the public


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schools. Next he worked in a foundry and studied

poetry at night, for he had a rich fancy, with a fas-

cinating love of the beautiful. He studied so dili-

gently in classical and modern poetry that he became

an excellent critic; and somewhere he tells how he

wrought his own songs


Like the blowing of the windOr the flowing of the stream

In the music of my mind."

Through Hawthorne's favour, he obtained a posi-

tion in the New York custom-house, and served later

in the dock department and public library; and pres-

ently he was able to abandon official duties and to de-

vote himself to his loved literature. For the rest of

his life, he was known as journalist, and editor

and what he preferred most --poet. His prose

works consist largely of criticism and biography,

but from first to last he was a poet, and in his

style, influenced by Wordsworth, Shelley, and


His"Songs of Summer

"was published in 1856.

Two stanzas are quoted:


The sky is a drinking-cup,

That was overturned of old,

And it pours in the eyes of men

Its wine of airy gold.


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We drink that wine all day,

Till the last drop is drained up,

And are lighted off to bed

By the jewels in the cup !


His"Book of the East

"is tinged with the brightness

of the Orient.

Stoddard is perhaps not popular, but admired by

critical lovers of poetry, because his instincts are sure.

He was imbued alike with the wisdom and the

strength of the self-educated man; but he fostered

the literary spirit of his day in New York, working

in friendship with other authors, specially with Tay-

lor and Stedman, and for himself he offers this

apology :


These songs of mine, the best that I have sung,

Are not my best, for caged within the lines

Are thousand better, if they would but sing!"

Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833-1908), came

from Hartford to New York, and here entered into

journalistic work. During the war, he served as

newspaper correspondent. His most popular poems

which belong to his earlier years are war ballads and

lyrics. His others manifest artistic and humourousrather than creative gifts. Among them are the elo>

quent tribute to Hawthorne, already quoted, and

many in a vein more light, such as'



"Pan in Wall Street." On the last


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subject Mr. Stedman could write feelingly since for

thirty-six years he was the"Banker-Poet." His re-

nown rests on the magnificent books of clear and in-

cisive criticism which he has left, and from which we

have several times made extracts. These are in-

cluded in his invaluable volumes :

"Victorian Poets,"

"Poets of America,"

" A Victorian Anthology,"

and"An American



"was a man of the world, de-

lighting in the acquaintance of men in different walks

in life, and a leading factor in literary centres, ever

ready to assist younger men of letters. He will be

remembered long as a cordial and optimistic scholar

with wide knowledge of literature.

High among the authors that succeeded the old

New England group must be ranked Thomas Bailey

Aldrich (1836-1907). "The Bad Boy" of Ports-

mouth, New Hampshire, he spent his summers here,

and his winters in New Orleans. As a youth, he was

hurried into his uncle's office in New York, for he

had betrayed an instinct for rhyming and it was

feared that he might become a poet. Notwithstand-

ing this precaution, there appeared before he was

twenty a slender volume of poems. This was fol-

lowed by his dainty"Babie Bell," which, copied far

and wide, would alone have made its author known.

And now came the conflict between counting-house

and bookish workshop, and the latter won, and Al-

drich commenced editorial and journalistic writing in


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New York, and also became a member of the group

of notable Metropolitan poets, including Stoddard,

Stedman, and Taylor. In 1870, he removed to Bos-

ton, and there his elegant Mount Vernon Street home

was distinguished for the generous hospitality of its


For ten years, he was the clever, mirthful, and

methodical editor of


The Atlantic Monthly." Hewas a perfect workman, embroidering his themes to

the minutest detail. We estimate his tales and poems

as we would a miniature of artistic finish. One of

his characteristics was to hold a story till it was com-

pleted to his full satisfaction. George Parsons

Lathrop, in the following quotation from Aldrich, il-

lustrates this point: "I've got a story under way

that promises well. But just as my people were in

the midst of a flourishing conversation, they stopped.

No one of them would say a thing, and there they sit,

while I've beenkept waiting


coupleof weeks for

the next speech." Indeed, Aldrich always wrote

when the mood was on him rather than in careless


His"Story of a Bad Boy," told in romantic vein,

admits us to the secrets of his own youthful escapades,

and it is now not only a juvenile classic, but invests

the old Portsmouth house with historic charm. In-

deed, Portsmouth days and Portsmouth ways enter

into some of his other prose works. His reminis-

cences of trips abroad are embodied in his graphic


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and amusing book,"Travels from Ponkapog to

Pesth." Among the shorter tales are"Marjorie

Daw " and " Two Bites at a Cherry."

Aldrich describes a poet as one who

"deftly weaves

A tissue out of autumn leaves,

With here a thistle, there a rose,

With art and patience thus is made

The poet's perfect cloth of gold."

and in this'

perfect cloth of gold"

his verse is

woven. Here is a description from"Friar Jerome's

Beautiful Book"

-the volume that "was not writ

in vain'

- and it is a rare picture of an illuminated



Here and there from out of the woods

A brilliant tropic bird took flight;

And through the margins many a vine

Went wandering roses, red and white,

Tulip, windflower, and columbine."

Aldrich was also a maker of sonnets and of delicate

quatrains-- those "Four line epics one might hide

in the hearts of roses."

Sometimes he is called"

The Poet of Ponkapog,"because many of his poems hailed from this country

home not far from Boston; again some would dub

him The American Herrick"; and his flawless


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Photograph by F. Gutekunst, Philadelphia



WILLIAM DKAN HOWELI.Sf'o|t\ ri>_'ht, Hrowu B os.

, N. Y.


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lyrics possess the Herrick gem-like polish, but not the

soul that shines

throughthose of the


yet rarely are the two combined.

Everything from Aldrich's pen was eagerly

awaited; so we may think him one of the few who

wrote too little, for seven or eight volumes comprise

his works, and they are commended as especially de-

sirable for young people.

And there are others - - and they are legion

whom we might add: Donald G. Mitchell, our be-

loved"Ik Marvel," who bequeathed us his



"Reveries of a Bachelor

";Richard Grant

White, the noted philologist and Shakesperean critic;

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, anti-slavery agitator

and author; Sidney Porter, whose nom de plume

was "O Henry" was a clever short-story writer;

Henry Cuyler Bunner, many years the dignified and

humourous editor of "Puck," whose short stories

have had wide distribution; and Richard WatsonGilder, the editor and "poet of the soul."

And literature like politics could not have existed

without the newspaper of which Thomas Jefferson

once said:'

I would rather live in a country with

newspapers and without a government than in one

with a government without newspapers." So just a

word in praise of Horace Greeley, who was potent in

the thought of his time, and who founded"The New

York Tribune."

To-day publishers are seeking new forms of in-


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vention, for there is no end of curiosity shown by the

audiences that wait expectant on their work. And

fashions change; yesterday automobile romances held

attention - -to-day,

"High Times in an Aeroplane


while psychology, sociology, economics, romanticism,

classicism, and realism, are all compelling themes in

poetry and prose; and the poet finds his inspiration

evenin the

city streets where flowers bloom in florists'

windows, on the market-stall, and in crevices.

Strong Nature friendships are being established.

We may ramble in"Fresh Fields," with our essay-

naturalist; try "Fisherman's Luck'' on "Little

Rivers"; learn the characteristics of wild animals

and birds and roadside flowers; and with"Sharp

Eyes"pry into Nature's tiniest secrets. And as for

science, what discoveries has its literature proclaimed;

and America in the short story as constructed by Irv-

ing, Hawthorne, Poe, and Bret Harte, has made one

of her noblest contributions to literature, and never

was our land better equipped with story-tellers than


The widest field, however, is monopolised by the

novelist. Crawford, in his day, called the novel"a

pocket theatre," and the novelist,"

a public amuser"


but now the best novel

maybe either

psychological,realistic, or problematic, and demand the serious at-

tention of the most serious reader. Mr. Howells, the

alert novelist, essayist, and editor, and dean of our

literary guild, who has been true to his traditions


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says, in comparing the past with the present, that

there has been no hour of his literary past when he

has had the least fear for the literary future, and he

adds :-

"All of human life has turned more and more to the

light of democracy, the light of equality, if you please.


which was once of the cloister and the school,

has become more and more of the forum and incidentally

of the market-place. But it is actuated now by as high

and noble motives as ever it was in the history of the world,

and I think that in turning from the vain endeavour of

creating beauty and devoting itself to the effort of ascer-

taining life, it is actuated by a clearer motive than be-

fore. . . .

"To the backward glance, the light of the past seems one

great glow, but it is in fact a group of stellar fires. Per-

haps it is as some incandescent mass that the future will

behold this present when it has become the past."



Up to her chamber window

A slight wire trellis goes,

And up this Romeo's ladder

Clambers a bold white rose.

I lounge in the ilex shadows,

I see the lady lean,

Unclasping her silken girdle,

The curtain's folds between.


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She smiles on her white-rose lover,

She reaches out her hand

And helps him in at the window

I see it where I stand !

To her scarlet lip she holds him,

And kisses him many a time

Ah, me! it was he that won her,

Because he dared to climb !




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IN order to give our story a gentle ending, we just

glance at the part played by woman in American liter-

ature. For the feeble twitterings of the songstress

were very early heard even from the colonial day

when Anne Bradstreet lightened the harshness of

pioneer life by the consolation of poetry. These"

first breathings'

were a combination of high

thought, fantastic conceit, and sentimentality, graced

by poetic touch.

Tender-hearted Lydia Huntley Sigourney belonged

to the"Knickerbocker Group "; and her one aim in

her fifty-six volumes of verse and prose was to do

good. It is difficult now to realise how much her sol-

emn lines were quoted in her own day. Her mem-

orial tablet in Christ Church, Hartford, bears Whit-

tier's words:


sangalone ere


knownThe gift of song which fills the air to-day;

Tender and sweet, a music all her own

May fitly linger where she knelt to pray."

Among prose-writers, were sentimental and con-


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ventlonal novelists, whose stately, slow-moving char-

acters acted conventional parts.'

Charlotte Tem-

ple," for example, written by the playwright and

novelist, Mrs. Rowson, was stiff and absurd the

heroine always"bedewed with tears." Then there

was"The Wide, Wide World," whose lachrymose

heroine literally absorbed the wide, wide world.


The Lamplighter" was more normalin its


setting. But these and other old tales, with chapters

capped with morals, won phenomenal success when

they were issued, while now-a-days we count them as

bits of departed grandeur over which Holmes chants

the requiem :-

"Where, O where, are life's lilies and roses,

Nursed in the golden dawn's smile?

Dead as the bulrushes round little Moses,

On the old banks of the Nile.

Where are the Marys and Anns and Elizas

Living and lovely of yore!

Look in the columns of old Advertisers,

Married and dead by the score."

In this era of stilted ideals and flowery exaggera-

tion, one very remarkable novel,u

St. Elmo," pene-

trated every corner of our land as hundreds of mate-

rial monuments give evidence of the enthusiasm which

it aroused; for there were"

St. Elmo"

coaches and

steamboats and hotels and towns! The novel was


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written by Augusta Jane Evans, a Southern lady,


"had already won success.

In " St. Elmo," Miss Evans catches her heroine,

Edna Earl, a girl of twelve, a stern little moralist,

standing at dawn, outlined against Lookout Moun-


a duel and a wreck quickly follow and in

time Edna Earl becomes another Jane Eyre, and

St. ElmoMurray,

another Rochester.

And ArthurHarriett Maurice, the critic, claims that beneath the

pompous phraseology, there lurks a real story, in-

spired by such lofty ideals and passionate sincerity,

that, though written over half a century ago, the

book remains an early chapter in the code of life


St. Elmo " like " Uncle Tom's Cabin " stands


And what reading was offered boys and girls of

the earlier times? In colonial days, they were

probably fascinated with the prodigies of Mather's41

Magnalia." Then"Robinson Crusoe,"


grim's Progress,""Gulliver's Travels,"

" The

Arabian Nights," and the novels of Scott and Cooper

alike held their fancy; while Jacob Abbott's"His-


and"Rollo Books


were everywhere

sought, for they conveyed wisdom and moral instruc-

tion in readable form.

And in turning from the statuesque women-writers

of a by-gone age to the flesh-and-blood interpreters

of our own, we shall find a new world opening out

before the children as before those of larger growth.


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We recall a few names of women who have made

healthful impress upon literature among them,

Louisa M. Alcott, Mary Mapes Dodge, Helen Hunt

Jackson, Celia Thaxter, and Sarah Orne Jewett.

To make a brief sketch of Louisa M. Alcott

(1832-1888), we must in imagination retrace our

way to intellectual Concord, which through her has

givena contribution to children's literature.


hillside stands"Old Orchard House," teeming with

memories of four clever, wide-awake little women.

Here it was that"Joe scribbled, May wrestled for

fine words; here Beth's little cottage piano stood,

and May mothered them all when dear Mrs. Marsh

was away." We know them each one, and rememberwhat an instantaneous welcome all received when they

made their first courtesy to the public; and it was just

because they were so real and natural, and proclaimed

a gospel of simple living and happy work.

These were their maker's masterpieces; but at the

mention of her name, other wholesome children,

both boys and girls, come trooping into our memory.

Jusserand says:" A tale is the first key to the heart

of a child,"- and what a magical key Miss Alcott

held! Her life was a struggle for she was very

young when it was discovered that she rather than

her visionary father - - must be the family bread-


At eight, she wrote her first poem; it was dedi-

cated' To a Robin," and her mother encouraged


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her to keep on, assuring her that she might in time

become a second Shakespeare. Fired with this

modest ambition, the child continued to write on such

subjects as dead butterflies and lost kittens, even until

the story mania set in; and in order to gain subsist-

ence, she also did sewing and went out to service, and

presently her newspaper articles began to be ac-

cepted; and the little desk now stands in the parlour

where Louisa turned her observation into manuscript,

sometimes working all night by the light of a single


And while the family struggled for daily bread,

over the way in the"School of Philosophy," Dr. Al-


"Socratic Talker of his Day," was dispensing



of mystical wisdom. Rose

Hawthorne once said that"the only point at which

Dr. Alcott ever met the world was in his worship of

apple trees !


Emerson was the truest friend that Dr. Alcott ever

had; and to Miss Alcott he was " The Beloved Mas-

ter," who, by the simple beauty of his life, and the

wealth and uplift of his works, helped her to under-

stand herself. She went to the war as a volunteer

nurse and nearly died of fever. She spent years of

discouraging toil, before the success of



Women "gave her place in the world of letters.

She died in 1888, in the"Thoreau-Alcott


in Concord, and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

not far from her"Beloved Master," upon whose


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grave, at his burial, she had laid a lyre of yellow


Mrs. Alcott once announced that she" had been

married twenty-nine years and moved twenty-seven

times," and several homes in Concord attest the truth

of her remark; but it is"Old Orchard House


the Woman's Club of the town has set apart to be the

shrine of Louisa M. Alcott. Four rooms are de-

voted to memorials; the rest is a vacation home for

working-girls, in tribute to one who sacrificed her

life in the service of others.

The story of our next authoress, Mary Mapes

Dodge (1838-1905), presents a striking contrast to

that of Louisa M. Alcott. Daughter of Professor

Mapes, the distinguished writer and scientist, she

passed a happy childhood in her New York home.

She never attended school but with her sisters studied

under tutors. There were no children's magazines,

but she feasted on ballads and Scott and Bunyan and

Shakespeare. It seemed as if she had always loved

to write, and as a maiden, she assisted her father in

preparing learned pamphlets.

There was granted her a happy married life of

a few short years, and then she was left a widow with

two young sons, and she was at once their comrade,

rearing them tenderly and wisely. Feeling that she

must needs do something for their support, she took

up literature, writing essays and stories for grown-up

readers; and she improvised bed-time tales for her


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boys which she presently determined to offer to other

children as"The Irvington Stones."

About the time that these were published, in 1864,

she became absorbed in Motley's"Dutch Republic,"

as well as in many books concerning quaint and

valiant little Holland and Dutch history. She com-

menced to weave a story and soon"Hans Brinker


was published. Every chapter asshe wrote was

submitted to the criticism of two Hollanders who

lived near her, and the tale was so true to life that

Dutch boys were sure that Hans Brinker had skated

on the canal; and once when her own young son went

into a book-store in Amsterdam and asked for some-

thing to read, the clerk brought it forth as the best

juvenile story in Holland; and it was translated not

only into Dutch but also into French, German,

Russian, and Italian.

With Harriet Beecher Stowe and Donald G.


Mary Mapes Dodgebecame editor of

"Hearth and Home." In this she proved so success-

ful with the"Juvenile Department

"that the editors

of"The Century

"asked her to edit a juvenile maga-

zine, and in 1873,"

St. Nicholas"came into being,

christened by Mrs. Dodge. Her ideal for a chil-

dren's magazine was to make it strong, true, and

beautiful; it must be full of life and eager impulse,

and its cheer, the cheer of the bird-song; and to the

fulfilling of this ideal, this brilliant and attractive

woman devoted the rest of her life. Young readers


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felt the spell of enthusiasm and always sought her


Among her editorials, the witty little preacher,1

Jack in the Pulpit," held his audience spell-bound.

Many were her rhymes and jingles, and among her

pleasing tales"Donald and Dorothy



Through personal friendship with noted authors,

she secured from them many contributions, and even

fascinating "Lord Fauntleroy" made his first bow

to the public as a serial in"

St. Nicholas."

For older people, Mrs. Dodge wrote poems and

prose tales; among the latter was"Theophilus and

Others," and among the"Others


was amusing'

Mrs. Maloney on the Chinese Question."

Mrs. Dodge was constantly sought by her coterie

of special friends, and one evening every week she

was the genial hostess in her New York home, over-

looking Central Park. And Onteora cast its spell

over her as over many professional men and women,

and it was here in her rustic home that she died; and

this"lover of little ones up to the end

"was mourned

by children to whom she has left a memorial of far-

reaching influence, even the juvenile classic which

she sent forth touched with the finest thought and


of her


and Richard Watson Gilder wrote:

"Many the laurels her bright spirit won


Now that through tears we read'

The End,'

The brightest leaf of all now all is done

Is this:'

She was the children's friend.''


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IN 1880, there appeared in"

St. Nicholas," a story

headed"The Naughtiest Day of My Life." This

was a confession written by Helen Fiske Hunt Jack-

son (1831-1884), describing an escapade as a child

when with another little girl she ran away from her

home in Amherst, Massachusetts, to Hadley, four

miles distant. The whole village of Amherst, even

to college professors, joined in the search, and late

at night the children were brought back; and in

merry, impulsive mood, Helen walked in exclaim-

ing: "Oh, mother, I've had a perfectly splendid

time !


This is a most characteristic anecdote of

the childhood of brilliant, impetuous Helen Fiske,

daughter of Professor Fiske of Amherst College.

She was married at twenty-one to Captain Hunt

of thearmy, and with her


and winning nature,

enjoyed the wandering life of a military household;

later her husband, now Major Hunt, was killed in

Brooklyn, while experimenting with an invention of

his own for firing projectiles under water. Two


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years more, and her handsome, precocious son Ben-

nie died of diphtheria, and before he passed away,

he made his mother promise not to take her life.

Stunned by the blows that had followed in swift suc-

cession, Mrs. Hunt for a time shut herself away from

the world, and finally her solace came in the form of


In her home in Newport, Rhode Island, shestudied rhetoric and literary methods and gradually

acquired careful construction. After years, her

poems began to be admired. These are on Nature,

home-life, and abstract themes. They are medita-

tive rather than joycus, and in their glow and in-

tensity rank very high. Emerson considered them

the best of those written by American women, and

used to carry them in his pocket to read to his


How expressive of her colour-sense and delicate

ear for melody are her lines :-

"Chestnuts, clicking one by one,

Escape from satin burrs; her fringes done,

The gentian spreads them out in sunny days;

The summer charily her reds doth lay

Like jewels in her costilest array;

October, scornful, burns them on a bier."

And perhaps the sorrow that clouded her own life

found expression in"The Spinner," from which we

take extract :


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"Like a blind spinner in the sun,

I tread my days;

I know that all the thread will run

Appointed ways ;

I know each day will bring its task

And being blind, no more I ask.

Butlisten, listen, day by day,To hear their tread

Who bear the finished web away,

And cut the thread,

And bring God's message in the sun,'

Thou, poor, blind spinner, work is done.''

Of restless and adventurous temperament, Mrs.Hunt travelled much on the Continent. In her


Bits of Travel," she immortalised a German land-

lady; and while the latter did not enjoy having her

love-story given to the world, she called the writer

who had sojourned with her"the kindest lady in

the world.""

Bits of Talk" followed"

Bits of Travel," and

these with other things signed with the pen-name'

H. H." had very many readers, doubtless because

the author's personality was so wrought into every



H. H." had early asserted that she would never

be a woman with"a hobby"; but after listening to

lectures in Boston and New York on the wrongs of

the Indians, her soul was stirred to its depths and


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from this time she consecrated her life to a single

purposeshe would

emancipatethe Indian - - as

Harriet Beecher Stowe had emancipated the negro.

She travelled over the West, carrying cheer to them

in their adobe villages as she listened to their tales

and pledged herself to do what she could, and they

many times saluted her as"Queen."

To make her facts accurate, she spent three months

working in the Astor Library, New York, and then

published her"Century of Dishonour." At her

own expense, she sent a copy to every member of

Congress. The work exhausted her, she went to

Norway for refreshment; and on her return received

an appointment from the President to investigate the

needs of the Indian. Again she searched into her

problem and her report was clear and vigorous.

She was interested, also, in early Spanish Missions,

and these were told of in magazine articles. In


Ramona," her best novel, came out It is

a powerful work, its moral revealing her interest in

the red man, and it has now, in 1913, reached its

ninety-third printing !

After years of strenuous labour, her health was

failing, and she removed to the West. She married

a Mr.Jackson,


Quaker,and a banker of Colorado

Springs, and here she made a beautiful home and ten

years of life remained. Here she cherished her

human friendships, and her love for flowers which

she gathered by the carriageful from"her garden



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as she fondly called a peak of the Cheyenne


Her vigour never returned and her last moments

were full of suffering. Shortly before she died, she



Century of Dishonour'



are the only things I have done of which I am glad

now; they will leaf out and bear fruit -- the rest is

of no moment." She is buried four miles fromColorado Springs, near the summit of Mount Jack-

son which was named in her honour. She had

begged that her grave be unadorned"with costly

shrub or tree or flower"

;it is simply a mound over


The sweet grass its last year's tangles keeps."

Her novels, sketches, and essays will live, but longer

than any of them will be read her poems so full of

gleam and gentleness.

Our next writer is Celia Laighton Thaxter (1836-

1894), and to find her literary world, we must in

fancy transportourselves to the Isles of


the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a cluster

of eight rocky elevations with"

frantic crags," which,

according to Hawthorne,"are tossed together lying

in all directions." Celia Laighton's birthplace was

Portsmouth; but when she was five years old, her

father, owing to some political disaffection, withdrew

for ever from the mainland, bringing his wife and

children to these desolate islands, ten miles out in the

Atlantic, and here he became keeper of the White

Island light.


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Celia has described the first landing on the lonely

rock, in the autumn sunset the light-house like

a tall black-capped giant gazing down upon them

while a few goats feeding at its base looked at them

as they entered the little thick-walled stone cottage,

from whose deep-seated windows she later made

many pen-pictures.

Shells and rocks and waves were playmates of this

little maiden and her brothers, Oscar and Cedric.

They watched the sea-fowl soaring aloft or gliding

over the water; vessels scudding over the dark blue

sea; stealthy islanders paddling along the ledges,

or stretched out on the wet sand looking for wild-

fowl. They watched, also, the lighting of the lamp

and as it sent afar its rays, they wondered how many

hearts it nightly gladdened; and birds and flowers

were very companionable, and"Peggy's Garden


in its brilliant glow became famous.

The child rowed and made rag-carpets and tended

the sick; and as she older grew, more and more her

heart went out towards the little Norwegian colony

of fisher-folk. She heard the'



the sailing away of the fleet, and the sudden squall

that sent the small boats swaggering before it; and

she would go to the little cluster of women assembled

at the headland and comfort them with words of

cheer; and her later tales and poems were set in the

framework of a sea,"that sparkled, or sang, or

foamed, or threatened."


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As a rosy-faced maiden of sixteen, Celia was mar-

ried to LeviThaxter,


Browning student,and a

missionary to the fisher-folk of an adjoining island;

and then she was spirited away to the new world of

Boston which suddenly opened before her fascinated

vision. There were pictures and lectures and con-

certs and operas and theatres. Mr. Thaxter, with

his studious nature, did not care for these things,

but his girl-bride entered into all with a delighted


She never had really thought about admission to

the field of literature until, unbeknown to her, a friend

sent one of her poems to"The Atlantic

"and it was

accepted; she was glad and grateful, and her genius

unfolded as she began to write. Her literary out-

put is not large, but what she did is full of exquisite

lyrical expression as"The Singer of the Shoals,"


The Singer of the Sea." Among her noted






The BurgomasterGull,"

"Tacking Ship Off Shore," and the trustful


Sandpiper." Among her tales is"The Spray


that danced in the breakers, and talked and

laughed with the loons, and then did patchwork to

the end of her days; and another tale describes

Madame Arachne, and how as a child she peeped

through the light-house window and watched the ad-

ventures of the wary dame; and"Island Garden'


Among the Shoals," and letters and poems,

are all pleasant reading.


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Mrs. Thaxter spent much of her later life at Ap-



island of the

group,where her

brother's home for an occasional guest had developed

into a hotel; and this desolate island -

"With rifts and charms and storm-bleached jags,"

became a favourite resort for artists, musicians, and

men of letters, lured thither by'

The Singer of the

Shoals." Among others, Whittier came and Haw-

thorne and Ole Bull and"The Singer


them dressed always in black and white and grey

with sea-shells for her ornaments; and she entertained

them with her music, her verses, or her charmingconversation. Here she died and was buried; and

the White Island light-house has disappeared and

been replaced by another, more powerful but less


On a clear day, the Isles of Shoals are distinctly

visible off the coast of Portsmouth, and not far from

the town in another direction is South Berwick,

Maine, the home of another authoress, whose early

environment like that of Celia Thaxter formed the

subject of many a later tale. This was Sarah Orne

Jewett (1849-1909), who, as a delicate child, was

consigned to an out-of-door life in this quaint, sea-

board town. She spent her days driving about the

country with her doctor-father; she became intimate

with his patients, and learned so much about minister-


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ing to the sick that she would have liked to be a


Her wise father was a man who hated all affecta-

tion and insincerity, and with rare tact he taught

her how to cultivate right powers of observation; and

when she confided to him her desire to become a

writer, he advised her not to describe people and

things in general but just as she saw them and the

more she looked, the more interested she grew.

South Berwick was full of bronze-faced lumbermen

and sailors and old sea-captains; among the latter

was her grandfather, and she always loved to hear

him spin his yarns because he was"a perfect geog-

raphy in himself."

Sometimes she lingered about the country-store

to catch the shrewd and nautical conversations, and

when she was about fifteen, city boarders with artifi-

cial ways began to invade the town, and from them

shegained yet




father's showing the way, she acquired marvellous

insight into human nature, thus gathering material

for her striking character sketches. Sometimes she

visited her aunt in Exeter, who lived in a big house,

adorned with unbroken china plates, and huge jugs

by the fireplace.

The early Berwick home is yet standing, associ-

ated alike with a doctor's office and an author's den,

with antique portraits and mahogany furniture, and

a library overflowing with books; its setting, an old-


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fashioned garden stocked with fragrant posies.

Somewhere in herreminiscences,

MissJewett says:


"Berwick always seems a little sad even to me ! in the

wane of winter the houses look at each other as if they

said: 'Good Heavens, the things that we remember!' but

after the leaves come out they look quite prepared for the

best, and quite touchingly cheerful."

It was through her sympathetic portrayal of New

England life that Miss Jewett became known in

Boston society; and her most intimate friendship was

with Mrs. James T. Fields.

Miss Jewett regarded literary work experimental,

its vitality lying in the something that


does itself,"

and she adds:"There are stories that you write and

stories that write themselves in spite of you !



composed very rapidly, perhaps three thousand

words a day, and her tales are lighted with touches

of delicate fancy; there is in them the fragrance of

woods and the murmur of pines and of tides; por-

traits of courtly New England dames, and boys and

girls romancing in country ways. We find these all,

in her dozen or more books, among which the fol-

lowing are prominent: "Deep Haven Sketches,"

"The King of Folly Island,"

" A Marsh Island,"

and " A Country Doctor "; while of " The Country

of the Pointed Firs," Rudyard Kipling once said to

her: "I don't believe you ever really knew how

good that work is !



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Miss Jewett divided her time between Boston,

Berwick, andManchester-by-the-Sea, living


much with Mrs. Field. A woman of great dignity

and sweetness of character, it brought cheer to look

into her bright, piquant face. Very typical of her

selfless spirit is her remark to a friend:"Oh, do let

us always tell people when we like their work, it

does so much good!'

In our brief sketch, we have quoted liberally from

her own words, for somehow she has unconsciously

told the world just the things that the world wants

to know. In closing, we make extracts from her

letters which have been edited by Mrs. Field.

Many of these were written to Celia Thaxter whom

she always addressed as"Sandpiper." After Long-

fellow's death, she eulogises him as follows: "Aman who has written as Longfellow wrote stays in

this world always to be known and loved, to be a

helper and a friend to his fellow-men."

In another, she speaks of Dr. Holmes as"bearing

his years cheerfully and drawing old friends closer,

as he lets the rest of the world slip away little by


; again, of Phillips Brooks's death and of the

more than Sunday-like sleep that fell over the city

during his funeral. An intense admirer of Tenny-

son, she emphasises the separateness of his life, com-

paring him to"a king of old of divine right and

sacred seclusion." And in expressing her delight

at meeting him, she writes:"

If anybody had come


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and said: 'See Shakespeare with me!' I couldn\

have felt any more delighted than I did about

Tennyson; it was a wonderful face, and he was far and

away the greatest man I have ever seen!'

Among other literary women, there is Elizabeth

Stuart Phelps Ward, who wrote with philanthropic

purpose, calling attention to various forms of social

disorder; while her venturesome imagination dis-

played in"Gates Ajar


and like subjects, opened

before the world the very soul of the New England

woman. And there is Julia C. R. Dorr, noted for

her graceful songs and travel sketches; and Mrs,

Whitney, whose juvenile stories made special appeal

to the maiden :

"Standing with reluctant feet

Where the brook and river meet;"

vvhile for over fifty years, Margaret E. Sangster was

counted an inspirer of home life.

Alice Morse Earl threw about colonial days the

spell of her own enthusiasm, alluring one to an in-

terest in a coffee-pot, a bit of lustre, or a tattered

calash; and in her gracious company we stray"


old-time gardens, ponder over sun-dials of yesterday,

dance at plantation feasts, grow acquainted with the

children of New Amsterdam, or follow the fashion

of two centuries of belles and beaux." And Emily

Dickinson must not be omitted, and that'



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diary"which she wrote just for her own entertain-

ment in her life of seclusion at Amherst; and since

her death her poems have been generally read, and

they contain fragmentary passages of high inspira-

tion that are more and more praised as time passes.

Harriet Prescott Spofford is unique in this group

in the hues with which she paints her"Amber Gods,"


New England Legends," and other fancies. Shelinks the past with the present; for as

"Mistress of

Deer Island," she presided over her river-girt

home. And of these women and of others of whom

we might speak, the best ideals are becoming classics

while the weak ones are being winnowed out.

To-day wT

omen are most active in the realm of

letters, grappling boldly with profound problems and

"isms" of every cult. There are laureates of the

new women and her modern possibilities. The

most popular subject is realistic fiction. Woman has

thus far made her literary mark, and the question

naturally arises: "What will be her status at the

end of another hundred years?'


" Across the narrow beach we flit,

One little sandpiper and I,

And fast I gather, bit by bit,

The scattered driftwood bleached and dry,


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The wild waves reach their hands for it,

The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,

As up and down the beach we flit,

One little sandpiper and I.

Above our heads the sullen clouds

Scud black and swift across the sky;

Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds

Stand out the white lighthouses high.

Almost as far as eye can reach

I see the close-reefed vessels fly,

As fast we flit along the beach,

One little sandpiper and I.

I watch him as he skims along,

Uttering his sweet and mournful cry,

He starts not at my fitful song,

Or flash of fluttering drapery.

He has no thought of any wrong;

He scans me with a fearless eye:

Staunch friends are we, well tried and strong,

The little sandpiper and I.


Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night

When the loosed storm breaks furiously?

My driftwood fire will burn so bright!

To what warm shelter canst thou fly?

I do not fear for thee, though wroth

The tempest rushes through the sky;

For are we not God's children both,

Thou, little sandpiper 5and I ?


Celia Thaxter.


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(Copyright 1892, by Roberts Brothers)

"Along Ancona's hills the shimmering heat,

A tropic tide of air, with ebb and flow

Bathes all the fields of wheat until they glow

Like flashing seas of green, which toss and beat

Around the vines. The poppies lithe and fleet

Seem running, fiery torchmen, to and fro

To mark the shore. The farmer does not know

That they are there. He walks with heavy feet,

Counting the bread and wine by autumn's gain,

But I, I smile to think that days remain

Perhaps to me in which, though bread be sweet

No more, and red wine warm my blood in vain;I shall be glad remembering how the fleet,

Lithe poppies ran like torchmen with the wheat."

H. H.


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FIRST we glance into the lives of three nature-lovers,

withdrawing them from the many who would con-

jure us.

John Burroughs (1837-1921) the friend alike of

children and grown-ups, is called "The Foremost

Nature-lover since Thoreau." He was born on an

ancestral farm near Roxbury, in the Catskills "the

odd child" in a large family for with the sameenvironment as his brothers and sisters he was the

only one to whom appealed the magic of nature and


From early boyhood he studied the doings of

birds and insects and flowers, and so wise did he

become that in later years specimens were sent him

from all the world around for identification.

He was a school-teacher at seventeen and next

was employed first in Washington and then in New

York State, but business proved irksome. After

1874,he made his conventional home at

"Riverby,"West Park, New York, calling himself "a literary

naturalist" and his occupation "grape culture."

His holidays are more fully associated with "Slab-

sides," an ivy-covered cabin further back among the


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hills. Here he lived simply, wrote his books, com-

muned with Emerson and Whitman, and entertained

the men, women and children that visited him, be-

cause they wished to see the author of "Wake

Robin," "Winter Sunshine," and other books that

had brought to them the lure of wood and stream.

His is the story of a quiet life but there are bits of

travel interwoven. Once with Mr. Roosevelthe

visited Yellowstone Park and Alaska. One day Mr.

Roosevelt said to him, "Did you take notes?" And

Burroughs replied, "No, everything that interests

me sticks to me like a burr"; and it was three years

later that his "Camping and Tramping with Roose-

velt" was published. He never wrote about any-

thing that he did not fully like, and without study.

Another inspiring bit of travel was that when in

the great Arizona Desert he met the "Tall Grizzly

Scot," John Muir, Western explorer and geologist.

How together they must have glorified the wonders

of mountains and glaciers and forests and rivers of

the West and Southwest and of the Hawaiian

Islands and how Burroughs loved to listen to

Muir's racy conversation.

Just one more glimpse of our naturalist. We find

him an elderly man, seated in "Woodchuck Lodge"

near his birthplace, busy with his pen and happy in

reminiscences of early days. And not far from the

"Lodge" on "Boyhood Rock," we to-day read a

memorial tablet on, which is inscribed:


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John Burroughs 1837-1921

"I stand amid the eternal ways

And what is mine shall know my face."

W. H. Hudson (1852- ). This is a naturalist

with a New England mother and an English father,

but his name is added to this book of American

authors because he is so remarkable. The privilege

is claimed of introducing him to our American youththousands of whom have never heard of him but

they may wisely cultivate his acquaintance.

Naturalist and novelist, he may be placed beside

John Burroughs, for like Burroughs he helps us

solve nature's secrets. Galsworthy calls him "the

most valuable writer that our age has produced."

In the region of the thinly settled pampas of

Argentina, he was born in a low, rambling house

sheltered by twenty-five ombre trees, each a hundred

years old; and among the branches of one of these

the restless, inquiring group of little Hudsons con-

structed a play-house.

It is in his "Far Away and Long Ago" that we

read the story of Hudson's childhood and youth in

South America. It is almost legendary in its dream-

like episodes and feeling for beauty, for from ear-

liest years the influence of nature upon him helpedhis mental and spiritual development.

He would lie in the sun-dried grass to see the

evolutions of the long, black Argentina serpent, or

again looking up study the habits of the huge bat


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wrapped in buff-covered wings, or watch a flock of

flamingos "angelic-like creatures" sweeping by,

and like Burroughs he must, from a mere child,

have felt in his very soul the melody of bird-song.

Grown to man's estate he has for many years

shown himself a magical writer whether in South

America or up and down England. His genius for

interpreting nature-life is marvellous, with an ex-

quisite love of beauty. He combines in his books

anecdotes, bits of story, and romance.

Among his books are "An Old Thorn"; "The

Purple Land"; "Idle Days in Patagonia"; "Birds

in Town and Village"; and "Adventures among


Marvellous poems have been written by nature-

lovers. Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke is Princeton

professor, preacher, essayist, diplomat, prose-writer

and poet but it is as a nature-lover that we quote

two stanzas of his splendid ode, "God of the Open



God of the Open Air


"Thou who hast made thy dwelling fair

With flowers below, above withstarry lights

And set thine altars everywhere,

On mountain heights,

In woodlands dim with many a dream,

In valleys bright with springs,


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And on the curving capes of every stream:

Thou who hast taken to thyself the wings

Of morning, to abide

Upon the secret places of the sea,

And on far islands, where the tide

Visits the beauty of untrodden shores,

Waiting for worshippers to come to thee

In thy great out-of-doors!

Tothee I

turn,to thee I make

my prayer,God of the open air.


By the breadth of the blue that shines in silence o'er me,

By the length of the mountain-lines that stretch before me,

By the height of the cloud that sails, with rest in motion,

Over the plains and the vales to the measureless ocean,

(Oh, how the sight of the greater things enlarges the eyes!)

Draw me away from myself to the peace of the hills and


Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke.

Amongessayists as

amongnature-lovers it is dif-

ficult to make selection. The name of Agnes Rep-

plier (1857- )is tnat f a most gifted essayist.

She is a native of Philadelphia and of French an-

cestry and has spent much time in European travel.

She writes upon a great variety of current topics

and from many points of view. She is never afraid

to preach high ideals and her criticisms marked by

common sense or sparkling with wit are always

clever and helpful. Lately her practical articles on

education have evoked much discussion.


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Many little volumes have been published as the

products of her pen, among which the one entitled

"Essays in Miniature" is specially charming. Miss

Repplier's frequent contributions to magazines pos-

sess lively interest for the reader.

Samuel McChord Crothers (1857- )is also an

essayists who stands forth prominently. He was

born in Illinois became a clergyman and after

several pastorates has been settled in Cambridge,

Massachusetts, since 1895. He has written several

books of essays, many of which are full alike of

charm, humour, and wisdom.

Perhaps the collection dearest to the heart of the

youngbook-lover is either "The Gentle Reader" or

"The Pardoner's Wallet."

We have already glanced into the lives of his-

torians from early colonial times. Now from a

modern viewpoint, two of the most scholarly are

John Fiske and Woodrow Wilson.

John Fiske (1842-1901) was born in Hartford,Connecticut. A precocious boy and a ravenous

reader, he devoted himself to legend and science and

psychology and history, and with rare play of fancy

he would tell a story. He was but a youth when he

commenced to collect a library. As a student in

Harvard College he had much trouble with his

tutors owing to his revolutionary ideas.

He wrote books on a variety of topics, but re-

search into the evolution of history was the study of


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his life, and he had vast knowledge on this subject.

Early periods of American history with all their con-

flicts were to him as interesting as the World Warof the twentieth century would be to the writer of


"The Discovery of America" is his best book.

He began it with the fables of a Western Continent,


to the discoveryof

Columbus.His "Beginnings of New England" is most artistic

in workmanship; it contains a real portrait gallery

of the founders. His style is vivid and perspective


John Fiske was also a profound but noted univer-

sity lecturer.

Woodrow Wilson (1856- ). Coloney Harvey,

in 1911, described Woodrow Wilson as "a highly

Americanized Scotch-Irishman, descended from

Ohio, born in Virginia, developed in Maryland,

married in Georgia, and now delivering from bond-

age that old Democratic commonwealth, the State

of New Jersey."

Son of a Southern gentleman, one of his earliest

impressions as a boy, was hearing on the street the

shouting that Abraham Lincoln had been elected

and that there would be war. As a youth he had a

passion for the study of history and politics. He

went through Princeton College and later was its

renowned president then Governor of New Jersey

and for two terms President of the United States.


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But it is as a writer not a statesman that he is

named here. His state papers, diplomatic messages

and proclamations, have been noted for their clear,

forceful, and flexible style, always maintaining the

traditions of the best English culture.

He has had a habit of jotting down anywhere a

note or two in shorthand, from time to time, and

then with the inspiration seized him, ofseating


self at his typewriter and shaping his thoughts, sen-

tence by sentence.

Among Mr. Wilson's books are "The Theoryand Practice of Government"; "Division and Re-

union"; and greatest of all, his five-volume "History

of the American People." Loving Democracy, heholds up fine ideals. It is a typical history for a

true American to read.


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IN this hurrying age the novel and short story are


forms of literature, andpublishers

are con-

stantly alert for good plots. The names of novelists

are legion, each one striving to interpret life in some

form. A few write the sort of thing that the world

but little notes or long remembers. Others make

clear and direct appeal to the reader's sentiment.

We select illustrations from among novelists mosthonoured.

Henry James (1843-1916) may easily be called


'The Father of the Modern American Novel," be-

cause of his original methods of thought. He was

born in New York City and educated abroad and

lived in England most of his life.

He wrote many novels, short stories, and essays.

They are full of minute analysis, in which, with

much imagination and grace of style, are contrasted

the characteristics of people in the Old and the New

World. He wastruly




his novels are international.

He had very distinct individuality and wrote with

such psychological instinct that his works do not

generally appeal to the young; but we add his name


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because he is so distinguished and has impressed so

many thinkers in both England and America.

Among his best known books are "The Ameri-

can"; "The Lesson of the Master"; "The Madonna

of the Future"; and "The Wings of the Dove."

Mrs. Atherton Gertrude Franklin Horn

(1857- )is the g. g. niece of Benjamin Franklin,

and a native of California.She

rs anextensive

traveller and has had a broad and fearless outlook

upon life. She writes with firm grasp upon her

subject and independently of literary rules.

Her novels and short stories, with California for

a background, relating to its early history, are valu-

able as records, especially the attractive volume,

"The Splendid Idle Forties," describing pictur-

esquely the vanishing life of the "Golden States,"

while in another quite as realistic is depicted the

earthquake tragedy of a later day.

Mrs. Atherton emphasises her political views in

"Senator North,' in which a whole scheme of

national problems in Washington is ably discussed.

Her most lasting monument, however, must be

"The Conqueror." In this, with strength and pas-

sion and illuminating glimpses of his contemporaries,

is narrated the life of Alexander Hamilton.

More recently, Mrs. Atherton has spent much

time abroad, and one of her contributions to War

literature is "A Book of Essays" dedicated to

"Eternal France."


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Alice Brown (1857- )is a favourite New

England writer of novels, short stories, and plays.

As a child she lived on a New Hampshire farm, and

after graduating at Exeter Academy she taught, and

while teaching studied her pupils, and later some of

them became her story people.

After one of her trips abroad she wrote a book

entitled "English Impressions"; and in connection

with another trip, in collaboration with a friend, she

published a booklet on Robert Louis Stevenson.

She possesses rare knowledge of the character-

istics of New England women and the customs of

the country and has remarkable mastery of dialogue.

These she embodies skilfully and realistically in her

plots, which, in later years, seem to show the in-

fluence of Henry James.

Among her attractive novels and convincing short

stories are "The Prisoner";"The Story of Thyrza" ;

"Tiverton Tales"; "Meadow Grass"; and "Vanish-

ing Points."

Besides prose works she has with poetic vision

traced "The Road to Castaly," fountain of the gods,

and this has received nation-wide attention; and

when sixteen hundred and forty-six plays were sub-

mitted anonymously for a prize, Miss Brown gained

it and ten thousand dollars it was for her

"Children of the Earth." Her home is now in


Mrs. Deland Margaret Campbell (1857- )


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was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Her parents

dying in her infancy she went to live with an aunt in

Manchester in the same State. Delightful descrip-

tions come to us of her childhood days, for reading

and inventing stories she dwelt in a land of fancy.

Ever since she has shown wonderful interest in




accountof her days


school, emphasising the accomplishments then

taught. One of her earliest literary ventures was

scrawling bits of verse over everything. These with

others were later woven into "The Old Garden."

Mrs. Deland is one of the most popular and ver-

satile of modern novelists, but we have space to

mention but three or four of her works. In them

she manifests alike a sense of humour and pathos.

She always represents truth as higher then beauty,

and she loves to deal with moral and religious


This latter trait is shown forcefully in "John

Ward, Preacher," and "The Awakening of Helen

Richie";while in "The Iron Woman" are por-

trayed fine gifts of observation and construction,

making it one of the impressive novels of the age.

A most fascinating book is "Old Chester Tales."

Manchester is "Old Chester," and the figures of men

and women that might have lived there are drawn

with living distinctness, while Dr. Lavendar is the

link that binds them together. He is one of the


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unique types in American literature. Quaint and

alluring "Old Chester" will live as will the English

"Cranford" and other towns about which romances


In 1918, Mrs. Deland went to France to work in

an army canteen and afterwards she wrote her "War

Essays." Her latest publication is "The Vehement

Flame." Herpresent

home is in Boston.

Mrs. George C. Riggs Kate Douglas Wiggin

(1857- ). This authoress makes universal appeal

to the hearts of the young. She was born in Phila-

delphia and as a clever and interesting child was de-

voted to reading. She spent her girlhood years in

New England, graduating at Bowdoin College.

Then the family removed to California.

With rare insight into the hearts of children she

loved to tell them stories, and this faculty developed

into deep interest in free kindergartens. Through

her influence these were organised in California and

were soon known throughout the West. Educational

movements of every kind receive her attention and

personal effort.

She is an optimist with fertile imagination and she

has the gift of transforming the common into the


Her first book that captivated the world was "The

Birds' Christmas Carol," written in 1888. Then fol-

lowed "Timothy's Quest" and "Rebecca of Sunny-

book Farm," both strongly evincing her under-


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standing of New England character; and the three

"Penelope" books, whose setting was laid in the

British Isles. "Penelope" is her grown-up heroine.

Perhaps Mrs. Riggs's most delightful venture is

"The Old Peabody Pew." At present New York

City is her residence.

Owen Wister (1860- )is a Philadelphian by

birth. He is a

graduateof Harvard


has given his views of the life of a college boy in his

"Philosophy Four."

He does not, like many others, write up one

region, but is versatile in conception with wide range

of vision. His earlier books were short stories of

ranch life, and then stringing Western episodes to-

gether he produced his most romantic and popular

work, 'The Virginian," delightfully written, and

holding the attention from beginning to end.

With powerful imagination he pictures fierce,

struggling lives and cruel deeds. The hero is a

Wyoming cow-puncher a youth of strange dialect,

and withal such a crude sense of justice and heroism

that he can inspire the love even of the demure little

New England school-teacher. We are given a

glimpse of an old phase of American life that is

historically valuable.

"Lady Baltimore" presents a striking contrast to

'The Virginian" and shows the influence of Henry

James. The plot is carefully constructed and of

exquisite workmanship. It recalls the new life in


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the South with the remains of old Southern dignity

and custom.

The scene of the story is laid in Charleston, South

Carolina, and "Lady Baltimore," by the way, is a

delicious kind of cake.

Among other things, Owen Wister has written a

"Biography of General Grant," and his "Pentecost

of Calamity" is his contribution to the World War.He is also a sportsman and botanist. He resides in


Hamlin Garland(

1 860-)

is the son of a pioneer

and spent his childhood in the Middle West when it

was only a frontier, and in his novels and short

stories he has used as a background the home and

the life of his boyish days.

In his "Son of the Middle Border" he describes

feelingly the stern drudgery of farm and camp and

mine, and he colours his descriptions in a most un-

usual way. His style is not elegant, but



its realism.

His "Daughter of the Middle Border," very re-

cently written, is a romance of the same early day,

portraying the same rugged, unconventional life.

Two of his best short stories are "Among the

Corn Rows" and "The Creamery Man." He has

written much and is unequalled in his special field, so

that one wishing to study frontier life in early times

should read Hamlin Garland.

Mrs. Wharton Edith Newbold Jones


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(1862- )was born in New York City and among

her educators were tutors, travel, and widereading.

On marrying Mr. Wharton she removed to Bos-

ton but in later years has lived very much abroad.

From a child she has always held high social and

literary ideals. She was one of the truest disciples

of Henry James, whose letters show the intimate

sympathy and admiration that existed betweenthem.

In satire she sometimes rivals Thackeray. In

novels and short stories she writes with keen insight

and intensity. Her art betrays a wonderful finish

and in her descriptions is shown real understanding

of human nature. Her heroes and heroines may be

aristocratic, yet many of them have but little heart

and are menaced by unhappiness.

Among Mrs. Wharton's finest novels are "The

House of Mirth" and "The Age of Innocence," the

latter a story of New York society fifty years ago;

among her novelettes, "Madame de Treymes" and

"Ethan Frome."

Her gentle humanity has been most truly evi-

denced in her service for devastated France. One

of the very best of our War stories is "The Marne,"

most artistically written in 1918. What a devoted

hero is Troy! and how feelingly the author's love

for France is expressed when she says:

"Every stone that France had carved, every song she had

sung, every new idea she had struck out, every beauty she


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had created in a thousand fruitful years, was a tie between

her and her children."

Later she writes with renewed admiration,

"French Ways and Their Meaning."

Winston Churchill (1871- ), a native of St.

Louis, is now living in Cornish, New Hampshire.

His historical romances, upon each of which he has

spent years, with intense regard for accuracy of

statement, make him one of our most trusted novel-

ists his setting of history rather than his plot being

his strong point. His works are panoramic, each

one being a succession of episodes placed in a great

era of American history.

One of the first is "Richard Carvel," a tale of a

colonial aristocrat in the time of the American

Revolution with Paul Jones as hero and it refuses

to be forgotten.

Another is "The Crisis," a story of the Civil War,

and Abraham Lincoln appears. "The Crossing"

gives graphic pictures of the Middle West with

border warfare and Indian massacre.

For his next plot, Mr. Churchill turns to New

Hampshire and "Coniston" represent the doings of a

political "boss";while "Inside the Cup" is a religious

novel in which church and social affairs havepart.

These are perhaps the author's best. He has few

colourful women but his men are very characteristic.

He is extremely popular because he has really made

the American historical novel famous.


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Ellen Glasgow ( 1874- )is a Virginian by birth,

and nearly all of her novels, written with power and

pathos, have their setting in Southern Virginia, the

region with which she is most familiar.

Among them is "The Miller of Old Church."

"Old Church," like Mrs. Deland's "Old Chester,"

is a unique town, and the novel will preserve the

record of the gentle breeding and old-time courtesy

and hospitality of the typical Southerners that came

in touch with the sturdy miller.

Her "Romance of a Plain Man" represents life

in the new South after the Civil War the begin-

ning of the reconstruction period. Barriers are

breaking down between the working-classes who are

struggling to rise and prove the dignity of labor,

and the poor aristocrats who have to meet them.

Miss Glasgow's recent novel, "One Man and His

Time," is written like her others in an epic spirit

epic because one man is prominent and a problem is

worked out. This is also a

cleverly wroughtnovel

of courage.

The gift of story-telling is, as one has said, "in-

born in Ellen Glasgow."

She has no peer as a novelist, interpreting the

South in its transformation period. Her home is in

Richmond, Virginia. She walks in her garden andthinks out her plots then writes behind locked

doors, her dog her only companion.

Ernest Poole (1880- )is one of the most


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promising of the younger authors. A Chicago boy,

he early showed fondness for writing. He gradu-

ated at Princeton College and has spent some time

abroad as a magazine correspondent. In 1805 he

visited Russia to study conditions there. On his re-

turn he lived for years in Greenwich Village, New

York City.

He has always been interested in university settle-

ment work, specially in New York messenger- and

news-boys. Great docks and warehouses have held

for him curious attraction and wherever he goes he

visits the docks. So easily he has proved himself a

specialistin writing "The Harbor," which appeared

in 1915. The first part of the book makes wonder-ful revelations of the lives of longshoremen the

latter part turns to social reforms.

The setting seems to be Brooklyn, New York, but

the materials are really drawn from a Chicago dock-

yard during a strike.

In 1917 he won the "Pulitzer Prize" for his

novel, "The Family," awarded because the writer

had striven to portray the best type of American


Mr. Poole was abroad during the War and in


the novel "Blind" told his story of "the blind-

ing, vast tornado, with the deep changes that it


His books are few, but he writes and rewrites

each one several times before considering it perfect


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enough to offer his publisher proving the oft-

repeated saying: "Genius is the capacity for taking

infinite pains."


It was not until the latter part of the nineteenth

century during the period when poetry and ro-

mance voiced the aspirations of the literary that

drama first took form in the United States. An

early and unique example is Longfellow's "Closet


Real plays had been supplied from abroad, but

now came into notice two American writers Clyde

Fitch and Augustus Thomas. They devised modernsituations, introduced current songs and fashions,

and illustrated city life of the day, composing lines

not for the reader but for definite actors and

actresses. These were sometimes thrilling but never


Clyde Fitch (1865-1909) wrote sixty-nine real-

istic plays, in which the plots were natural and con-

sistent. Some of them, like "The Climbers," were

amusing satires on city folks. Others were his-

torical, as "Nathan Hale," "Barbara Frietchie," and

"Beau Brummel." The last was highly popular

when produced and is still quoted.

Augustus Thomas (1859-1891) also used up-to-

date material and told his story well. His first plays

were a series named after different States, as "Colo-


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rado" and "Alabama," picturing life in the West

and Southwest. He dramatised the novels of other


Among his later plays, "The Witching Hour" and

"The Harvest Moon" are best known.

Both Fitch and Thomas had far-reaching influence

on the increasing group of succeeding dramatists,

who have evinced more marked originality.

William Vaughn Moody (1869-1910) was alike

a poet and dramatist in both prose and verse. A

son of the Middle Border, after graduation at Har-

vard College he travelled in Europe, taught for

years in the University of Chicago, and died pre-

maturely just as his genius was ripening.

Some of his exquisite lyric poetry is perhaps dif-

ficult to understand, but there are superb lines run-

ning through it all; for example, we quote from

"Heart's Wild Flower":

"What are the dearest of God's dowers to the children of

his blood?

How blow the sky, the wilding flowers in the hollows of

his wood?"

And again, the lines in "An Ode in Time of Hesi-

tation" :

"Soon shall the Cape Ann children shout in glee,

Spying the arbutus, spring's dear recluse;

Hill lads at dawn shall hearken the wild goose

Go honking northward over Tennessee."

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Mr. Moody's two forceful prose dramas, "The

Faith Healer" and "The Great Divide," have both

been successful upon the stage. His cycle of poetic

drama was unfinished at the time of his early death.

Its Promethean theme is the unity of God and man.

Richard Hovey (1864-1910) was, like William

Vaughn Moody, a forerunner of the School of

Modern American Poets and Dramatists. Like

Moody, too, he was born in the West and became in

time professor in Barnard College, New York City.

Again, like Moody, he attempted a cycle of poetic

drama, his subject being the Arthurian legends but

he, also, died before his musical cycle was completed.

With the Canadianpoet,


Carman,he wrote

"Songs from Vagabondia." Besides, he composed

battle-hymns which were suggested by the Spanish-

American War.

His early poems showed his love of life and

comradeship his later ones soared into spiritual

realms. They all abounded in beautiful and pictur-

esque lines. His premature death was a great loss

to the world.

Charles Rann Kennedy (1871- )was originally

an Englishman, but has become a naturalised Ameri-

can. He has married a well-known actress, Edith

Wynne Matthison, and she takes leading parts in

her husband's plays.

Mr. Kennedy has created yet another style of

unique drama. He is familiar with Greek forms,


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and his plays are written in strictest conformity with

the three dramatic unities.

They have symbolic themes, are full of serious-

ness and poetic fervour, and are arranged for few

actors. They should be studied in order to under-

stand their moral force. Probably the most popular

on the stage is "The Servant in the House."

Mrs. Lionel Marks Josephine Preston Pea-

body (1874- )was born in New York City but

her home is now in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She

has shown in many ways her strong interest in social

progress. Her poetry is noted for imagination and

the spiritual tone of her pure lyric verse. This is

sometimes a bit mystical.

Among her well-known poems are "The House

and the Road," beginning

"The little road says 'Go'

The little house says 'Stay'"

and her "Ever the Same," a tribute to "The same

little rose."

The titles of some of her volumes are "The Way-farers" and "The Singing Leaves"; also "The Har-

vest Moon," which is dedicated to the women of

France. It is perhaps in poetic drama that she hasbest revealed herself and with what various pur-

poses have different dramatic authors worked. Mrs.

Marks's effort has been to recall Shakespeare's day

and Shakespearean form of plays, and with this in-


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tent she has written "Marlowe," the plot centering

about the old song:

"Come live with me, and be my love."

Her masterpiece, however, is "The Piper," and

it won a prize offered by the Stratford-on-Avon "Me-

morial Theatre." It was produced there and after-

wards in New YorkCity.


presentsthe beautiful

message that love gives us always the best things.

Percy MacKaye (1875- ). His dramatisation

of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and "Jeanne

d'Arc" are most realistic, for the actors in setting

and costume and conversation are so in accord with

their day.Then Mr. MacKaye has devised a new dramatic

art which is called "Community Masque." In this

he combines drama, pageant, and civic festival, in

picturesque way, and he interests whole towns and

cities in taking part in act and chorus.

We may name "Sanctuary," a Bird Masque, first

given in Cornish, New Hampshire, in honour of

President and Mrs. Wilson; "A Civic Masque" in

St. Louis, representing the one hundred and fiftieth

anniversary of the founding of the city; "Caliban,"

or Masque in New York, in 1916, in celebration of

the "Shakespeare Centenary." Great enthusiasm is

exhibited by masses of people in these artistic


These are but brief illustrations of the work of


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various kinds of playwrights to show the trend of

drama in the United States. New writers with new

plays are constantly receiving notice.

One thing that has greatly aided the work has

been the founding of a course for the study of

dramatic composition by Professor Baker of Har-

vard College, himself a noted writer.

His successful venture was followed by that ofProfessor Brander Matthews of Columbia College,

the honoured critic and scholar.

Just now there is a struggle for more freedom

of production. A protest of amateurs against pro-

fessionals would prove that literary merit is worth

more than money, and small theatres are springing

up in different cities for the bringing out of plays.

Is it possible that we may yet discover a modern



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THE latter part of the nineteenth century saw the

passing of the singers of the old New England group

of poets and it seemed, at first, as if there would be

none to take their places.

But presently there was a reawakened zeal for

poetry of an unconventional type that has appeared

almost a revolt against that of an earlier day. Anew school of young and vigorous singers arose


some members exploited Walt Whitman's concep-

tions; one was Promethean in his venture; another

revived Arthurian legends ;while yet others, recalling

Wordsworth's and Coleridge's lyrical ballads, be-

came "Imagists," surprising the literary world with

their "vers libre." They were not so particular as

the New England group about rhythm and metre.

Daring to be original, with true realism many

have studied life rather than books; sometimes elimi-

nating every ornament, they have reflected the spirit

of the age in field and mine and factory. Indeed,

every kind of environment has been touched upon.

And there are also poets with vivid imagination

and soul power, who, with artistic beauty, have

written poems of place or childhood or love or war

or patriotism.


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The wonderful developments in periodical liter-

ature have greatly assisted both poets and short-

story writers; and so many books of poems are ap-

pearing that it is difficult to estimate their literary

value for not all poetry is immortal.

We have space for only a few of the leaders, rep-

resenting the trend of their work, while there are

scores who rightlyfind

spacein a


But which may live in the "Hall of Fame" who

may tell?

Edwin Markham (1852- )was born in Oregon

and as a young man worked in California at farming

and herding cattle and the blacksmith's trade. Later

he became superintendent of schools.

One day a picture by Millet fascinated him, and

he wrote some lines that at once made him famous

as "The Laureate of Labor." Jessie Rittenhouse

herself a well-known poetess has said:

"Edwin Markham in his 'Man with the Hoe'

sounded the humanitarian labour note in America,

in the early dawn of the twentieth century."

Now he took up writing as a profession, becoming

a notable figure, both as poet and lecturer.

In studying his life one wonders if his own lines

have not been his inspiration:

"For all your days prepare,

And meet them ever alike;

When you are the anvil, bear

When you are the hammer, strike!"


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Mr. Markham is a special favourite of the young,

not only because he tells a poetic story so clearly but

also for his humour, optimism, and colourful de-


His' volumes, "The Shoes of Happiness" and

"Gates of Paradise," are full of delightful readings.

From his "Lincoln and Other Poems" we withdraw

"Lincoln," for great honour has recently as always

been accorded this wonderful bit of hero-worship.

Lincoln's life was long ago honoured at his birth-

place by a glorified log-cabin, and later on the banks

of the Potomac by a Greek Temple, most perfect of

architectural structures. On Memorial Day, May

30, 1922, this was dedicated by President Harding,in the presence of "The Blue and the Gray" a vast

assembled multitude paying tribute and here Mr.

Markham read from his amended "Lincoln" :

"A man to hold against the world,

A man to match the mountains and the sea."

The concluding stanza is as follows :

"And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down

As when a lordly cedar green with boughs

Goes down with a great shout upon the hills,

And leaves a lonesome place against the sky."

Mr. Markham's home is now at West NewBrighton, Staten Island, New York.

Edith M. Thomas (1854- )was born in Chat-

ham, Ohio, and as agirl, writing for local papers,


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she elicited the attention of Helen Hunt, who en-

couraged her to contribute to current magazines.

She has written excellent prose essays, but she is a

genuine poet devoted to classic forms. Her lyrics

and sonnets, treating of love and life and nature,

show her delicate touch, and some of them are ex-

quisite. The World War at first shocked her, but

it also inspired her to write poems of comfort andcourage.

Among her many little volumes which are liter-

ary treasures showing her careful workmanship

are "The Round Year," "Fair Shadow Land," "A

New Year Masque," "The Inverted Torch," while

among her very pleasing poems are "The Soul of the

Violet," "Frost To-night," "The Compass," and

"Grandmother's Gathering Boneset."

Miss Thomas's home is now in New York


Madison Julius Carwein( 1865-1914) is ranked as

one of the most gifted of American poets. He was

born in Louisville, Kentucky, and lived there most

of his life. He began to write verses while attend-

ing the high school, reciting them from the chapel


The freshness and beauty of the poems of the

"Kentucky Lyrist" as they came out in local papers

early won special praise from Aldrich, Howells and

other eminent critics, and through their kindly re-

views he gained in time an international reputation.


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Mr. Carwein led a strictly literary life. His out-

put was tremendous in all, thirty-six volumes.

A painter of nature with an exquisite sense of the

beauty of tree, cloud, bird, flower and brook, and

with romantic imagination, he followed the mood

of every season, immortalising in tuneful verse the

soft, Southern landscape. Many of his haunts are

still shown in and around Louisville.

Litsey, leader of the younger writers, called

Carwein "The Kentucky Woodland Thrush."

Among his numerous publications are "Blooms of

the Berry," The Garden of Dreams," "Myths and

Romances," and "Nature Notes and Impressions."


Deep in a wood I met a maid,

Who had so wild an air

Her beauty made my heart afraid,

And filled me with despair.

She worea


gipsy dyes,

That had a ragged look;

The brown felicity of her eyes

Was like a mountain brook.

Around her hair, of raven hue,

Was bound a gentian band,

And from each tree the wild birds flew

And fluttered to her hand.

The crow sat' cawing in the thorn

As if it, too, would greet


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Her coming; and the winds of morn

Made music for her feet.

Barefooted down the wood she came

Bearing a magic rod

That left the leaves it touched aflame

And aster-starred the sod.

I spoke to her!:

'Tell who you are!

So fair, so wild, so free!

A being from some other star?

Or wildwood witchery?"

She smiled, and, passing, turned and said:

"You do not know me, then ?

Why, I am she you long deemed dead,

Autumn, returned again!"

Madison Julius Carwein.

By permission of John P. Morton and Co., Louisville,


Edward Arlington Robinson (1869- ). His

home town, Gardiner, Maine, is the ''Tilbury"

where many of the scenes of his poems are laid. He

thus has immortalised it as Mrs. Deland immortal-

ised "Chester."

He hasexperimented

in different kinds ofpoetry,

among them free verse. Among his realistic por-

traits are his "Squire" "Gentleman from Soul to

Crown" and the optimistic, irresponsible "Captain



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He sees the characteristics of common people and

illumines them in his lines. He was a special fav-

ourite with Theodore Roosevelt. His best poems,

'The Master," is a tribute to Abraham Lincoln. It

is found in his finest collection of poems, "The TownDown the River."

Amy Lowell (1874- )is a native and now a

resident of Brookline, Massachusetts. She

belongsto a literary family of which James Russell Lowell

was a member. She spent her girlhood days in gen-

eral reading and wide travel and for eight years

studied forms of poetry.

Then this woman of rare mental gifts began to

write and volumes ofprose criticism and verse have

come from her pen. Working with fellow-poets, a

new creed has been propounded. They believe that

poetry must be dedicated to beauty, and while now

and again they adhere to classic forms they depart

entirely from the views of the nineteenth century

New England group and this new poetry is called

"vers libre" or "free verse."

Miss Lowell, as a lover of experiment, has with

her fellow-workers thus introduced novel and strik-

ing forms. Among these is "polyphonic prose-

poetry." The word "polyphonic" means "many-

voiced," and refers to the many voices of poetry.

The word "prose" is interpolated simply to explain

the manner in which this free verse is printed.

Miss Lowell defines "polyphpnic prose-poetry"


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as "The finest, most elastic of all forms for it fol-

lows all the rules that guide other forms and can go

from one to the other in the same poem with nosense of incongruity." In all the "imagist poetry"

a clear image must be outlined and rhythm created

to embody it. Some of the images are formed of

gentle lyrics; in others horror is invoked to portray


A poetess of intense personality and surrounded

by an impressionist circle, Miss Lowell has made the

achievement of these later years a creative literary


Among her works are "Sword Blades and Poppy

Seed," "Tendencies in Modern AmericanPoetry,"

and "Can Grande's Castle." The title of one of her

books, "A Dome of Many-coloured Glass," suggests

her wide variety of conceptions. Apart from her

originality, she has surely come into special touch

with Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Tennyson,

Browning, Poe, and Whitman.Her volume, "Pictures of the Floating World,"

published in 1919, ignores old poetic forms.


But there is something more wonderful yet. Set your faces

to the Piazzetta, people, push, slam, jam, to keep your places.

"A balloon is going up from the Dogana del Mare, a balloon

like a moon or something else starry. A meteor, a comet, I

don't really know what; it looks, so they say, like a huge

apricot, or a pear yes, that's surely the thing blushing


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red, mellow yellow, a fruit on the wing, garlanded with

streamers and tails, all a-whirl and a-flutter.

Cuts the strings and she sails, till she lands in the gutter.

"How do you know she lands in the gutter, Booby?"

"Where else should she land, unless in the sea?"

"You're a fool, I suppose you sat up all night writing

that doggerel." "Not at all, it is an improvisation."

"Here, keep back, you can't push past me with your talk.

Oh! Look! Look!"

That is a balloon. It rises slowly slowly above the

Dogana. It wavers, dips, and poises; it mounts in the silver

air, it floats without direction; suspended in movement, it

hangs, a clear pear of red and yellow, opposite the melting,

opal-tinted city. And the reflection of it also floats, perfect

in colour, but cooler, perfect in outline, but more vague, in

the glassy water of the Grand Canal. The blue sky sustains

it; the blue water encloses it. Then balloon and reflection

swing gently seaward.

One ascends, the other descends. Each dwindles to a speck.

Ah, the semblance is gone, the water has nothing; but the

sky focusses about a point of fire, a foamless iridescence

sailing higher, become a mere burning, until that too is

absorbed in the brilliance of the clouds.

You cheer, people, but you do not know for what. Abeautiful toy ? Undoubtedly you think so. Shout yourselves

hoarse, you who have conquered the sea, do you under-

estimate the air ? Joke, laugh, purblind populace. You have

been vouchsafed an awful vision, and you do nothing but

clap your hands.

From "Can Grande's Castle."

Amy Lowell.

By permission of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin and Co.


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Robert Frost (1875- )was born in California

and has lived long in New England and for two or

three years in England.

Poetry to him is a living language and he possesses

an unusual selective memory. His first volume, "A

Boy's Will," perhaps represents incidents of his own

early life as a young poetic artist. Two other

volumes, "North of Boston" and "Mountain In-

terval," are dramatic pictures of the more serious

side of New England life, with its grim forces work-

ing amid familiar scenes. They are also tinged with

the natural beauties of the land.

It is difficult to choose from many other poems

which display fresh creative spirit and truthfulness

of insight. In "The Death of the Hired Man" are

the following lines:

"Home is the place where, if you have to go there,

They have to take you in."

if T& "Sir ^| T& 3fc

"I should have called it

Something you somehow haven't to deserve."

In "Mending the Wall," it is proved that "Good

fences make good neighbors." "The Woodpile,"

with its striking closing passage"; "The Birches,"

"The Pasture," "After Apple Picking," "The Run-

away" are all pictorial in form.

Mr. Frost's present address is Ann Arbor, Mich-



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THE RUNAWAY*Once when the snow of the year was beginning to fall

We stopped by a mountain pasture to say "Whose colt?"

A little Morgan had one forefoot on the wall

The other curled at his breast. He dipped his head

And snorted to us; and then he had to bolt.

We heard the miniature thunder where he fled,

And we saw him or thought we saw him dim and grey

Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes.

"I think the little fellow's afraid of the snow.He isn't winter-broken. It isn't play

With the little fellow at all. He's running away.

I doubt if even his mother could tell him 'Sakes,

It's only weather.' He'd think she didn't know.

Where is his mother? He can't be out alone."

And now he comes again with a clatter of stone,

And mounts the wall again with whited eyes,

And all his tail that isn't hair up straight.

He shudders his coat as if to throw off flies.

"Whoever it is that leaves him out so late,

When everything else has gone to stall and bin,

Ought to be told to come and take him in."

Robert Frost.

Mrs. Ernest Filsinger Sara Teasdale( 1884- )

was born in St. Louis and from a child her chief

interest has been poetry. She has written very fre-

quently for magazines. In 1918 a prize was

awarded her for her "Love Lyrics" by the "Poetry

Society of America."

Just to quote a line here and there from different

poems must allure us to seek further into her grace-

ful conceptions,


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In one we find

"Blue waves whitened on a cliff*;

in another,

"Scent of pine trees in the rain";

Then we may listen to

"The woodthrush twirling three notes";

Again there are

"Holy thoughts that star the night";

Yet again,

"Shadowy fields of Indian summer";

and lastly,

"The winter snow-hushed and heartless."

Among Mrs. Filsinger's published volumes is

"Helen of Troy and other Poems." Her home,

like many of our authors, is in New York City.

Alan Seeger (1888-1916), student, traveller, and

soldier-poet, enjoyed a very brief but brilliant career.

He was born in New York City and some of his

boyhood was passed in Mexico. Even as a child

he loved to write. His poem, "The Deserted

Garden," shows his fascination for the picturesque

Mexican colouring.

After graduating at Harvard College he spent

four years in Paris, living a kind of Bohemian life


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among students. He had the gifts of song and

romance and wrote there most of his "Juvenilia."

Referring to his fondness for the gay city he said:

"One crowded hour of glorious life

Is worth an age without a name."

Later came the World War, and joining the

"Foreign Legion" of France he threw himself heart

and soul into the great adventure and some of his

letters and poems are either prophetic or commemo-

rative. One begins:

"I have a rendezvous with Death";

Another is the

"Ode in Memory of the American Volunteers"


"Fell in the sunny morn and flower of their young years,"

and who had

"That rare privilege of dying well."

In one of the furious advances, his squad made a

daring rush. He was wounded and now follows his

famous achievement, for as he lay dying he cheered

on, his comrades by singing a marching song. His


was given butthe

victory won!On May 21, 1922, high tribute was accorded Alan

Seeger in France. In the little town of Landricourt-

Sous-Coucy, impressive ceremonies marked the dedi-


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cation of a church-bell, presented by the "Poetry

Society of America" in honour of an American poet.

Katharine Lee Bates (1859- ) was born in Fal-

mouth, Massachusetts, and graduated at Wellesley

College, and for years has been a member of the

faculty. She has travelled and studied much abroad.

She is a versatile writer in prose and poetry, alike

for childrenand older readers.

Among her numerous works are "College Beau-

tiful and Other Poems," "Lectures on English Re-

ligious Drama," "Stories of Chaucer's Canterbury

Tales" retold for children, "In Sunny Spain," and

from "Gretna Green to Land's End."

In appreciation of her scholarly culture as teacher,

lecturer and author, honorary degrees have been con-

ferred upon her.

We remember how Francis Scott Key and Julia

Ward Howe at once attained international fame by

a single, patriotic poem; and the name of Katharine

Lee Bates is added, for her "America the Beauti-

ful" is also sung on public occasions all the world

around, and the following is her description of its


In 1893, sne was with other Eastern instructors

teaching in a summer school at Colorado Springs,

right under the purple range of the Rockies. Amongthe expeditions taken was one to Pike's Peak. There

in one ecstatic gaze over the vast sea-like expanse,

the opening lines of the hymn floated into her mind,


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and before leaving Colorado, the four stanzas were

pencilled in her note-book. Later she revised the

poem, making its phraseology more simple and

direct, and she adds:

''That the hymn has gained in all these years such

a hold upon the people is clearly due to the fact that

Americans are at heart idealists, with a fundamental

faith in human brotherhood."


"O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America ! America !

God shed his grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,

Whosestern, impassioned


A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!


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America! America!

May God thy gold refine

Till all success be nobleness

And every gain divine!


O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears!

America ! America !

God shed his grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!"

Katharine Lee Bates.

4oi v

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Edward Garnett an apostle of interpretative

criticism makes the following prophecy :

"I believe firmly that American literature will

count many great original achievements within a

couple of generations. All the pith and sap of a

great literature are there, and a ferment of spiritual

force which sooner or later must burst into flower.

"There is the mingling of many races out of which

a great world literature must grow, but it must be

founded on a true American spirit."

America has found herself and in many ways

presents her claim to the soul of the world. Think

of her scientific wizardry how the President's voice

by wireless circles the earth! Can our imagination

lead to what in the

coming years maybe the achieve-

ments of our American authors?

We pause just here in our brief and simple "Story

of American Literature," for we may not attempt

to interpret the unrounded lives of any of the

younger living authors, many of whom are already

striking an individual note.



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